The strikes have disrupted Kiev’s production of ammunition and weaponry, according to the Russian Defense Ministry
The Russian military has launched a large-scale missile attack against Ukraine’s military industry, disrupting production of weaponry and munitions, the Defense Ministry said on Monday.
“…the Russian Armed Forces of the Russian Federation launched a group missile attack with long-range precision weapons, air and sea based, on the military-industrial complex of Ukraine,” the ministry said during its daily media briefing, adding that “all assigned targets were hit.”
While the Russian military did not specify which locations had been targeted exactly, Ukrainian media reported strikes in Kiev, Sumy and Dnepropetrovsk regions. The latter has apparently experienced the worst, with a massive explosion reported on the outskirts of the city of Pavlograd, according to RT News.
Unverified footage circulating online shows the aftermath of the strikes near the city. The attack apparently also caused a massive secondary explosion, followed by multiple lesser blasts. Available footage shows numerous columns of white smoke at the location, typically caused by the detonation of solid-fuel projectiles such as anti-aircraft missiles.
The Pavlograd strike destroyed the stockpiles of fuel and ammunition of Ukraine’s 46th Airborne Brigade, which has been readying itself for the much-hyped looming Ukrainian counteroffensive, Vladimir Rogov, a senior Russian official in Zaporozhye Region, has claimed, citing the reports of locals. The strikes also destroyed two S-300 anti-aircraft batteries stationed in the area, the official told news agency TASS.
According to Ukrainian emergency services, the explosions in Pavlograd damaged and destroyed up to 80 residential homes and about two dozen multi-story buildings. Emergency services have also acknowledged damage to an unspecified “industrial facility” in the area without revealing its exact nature.
In recent days, both Russia and Ukraine have seemingly ramped up long-range attacks against each other, with the uptick in military activities coming ahead of the long-advertised Ukrainian counteroffensive. Moscow has claimed the destruction of several command posts used by the Ukrainian military, and has reported striking groupings of Ukrainian reserves. Kiev’ for its part, has ramped up shelling of residential areas of Russia’s city of Donetsk, as well as other border regions, inflicting multiple civilian casualties.
Ukrainian forces also carried out an attack on an oil deport in Crimea, with the spokeswoman for the Ukrainian military’s southern command, Natalya Gumenyuk, confirming the strike came in preparation for Kiev’s counteroffensive.