The Russian army launched 81 missiles in twenty-four hours, including six Kinjal, which Kiev claims cannot intercept.
Russia has intensified its strikes on Ukraine by imposing, on Thursday, March 9, a missile and drone dam on several areas of the country, including in the west, yet far from the front lines. The strikes, which have been the most significant in weeks, have left at least six people dead and deprived of power, as well as temporarily, the Zaporijia nuclear power plant.
Moscow has described these attacks, which it carried out in particular with the help of new Kinjal hypersonic missiles, as « reprisals » to an incursion into its territory on March 2 from « saboteurs » Ukrainian. Kiev denied the charges, and warned that Moscow could use these allegations to justify further assaults.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced this daily message on the Internet in his daily message on the Internet « new attempt by the terrorist state to wage war on civilization, which temporarily cut the power, heating and water in some of our regions and cities ».
In the Lviv ( west ) region, a shot in a residential area killed at least five people, the governor reported, while that of the Dnipro ( center-east region ) reported that a 34-year-old man had been killed.
Thirty-four missiles shot down
According to the Ukrainian army, air defense shot down 34 of the 81 missiles launched by Moscow, and four Iranian-made Shahed explosive drones launched. None of the six Kinjal missiles, which are among the most sophisticated weapons in the Russian arsenal, could be shot down. Kiev claims that its air defenses cannot intercept them.
White House spokesman in Washington said he was « overwhelming to see these brutal, unjustified attacks on civilian infrastructure across Ukraine ». The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs also condemned the massive strikes on Ukraine, which « have once again deliberately targeted residential buildings and civil infrastructure, in particular energy. » « These unacceptable acts constitute war crimes and cannot go unpunished », he adds in a press release.
Russia has regularly bombed Ukrainian energy facilities, plunging millions of people into the dark and the cold, but these attacks have become fewer in recent times.
Thursday’s strikes cut electricity, water and heating in Kharkiv, a major city in the northeast where outdoor temperatures fall to around zero degrees, and deprived of heating 40 % users in Kiev, according to the respective authorities. « Russia is trying to completely destroy Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, that’s why it has to be [ him ] provide something to defend », reacted the head of diplomacy of the European Union ( EU ), Josep Borrell.
The gigantic nuclear power plant in Zaporijia, occupied by the Russian army in southern Ukraine, was also briefly cut off from the Ukrainian power grid on Thursday, said the Ukrainian nuclear operator, Energoatom.
Because reactors need constant power to operate cooling systems to avoid melting, a power failure raises the specter of a nuclear accident. Emergency diesel generators have been activated to ensure minimum supply to safety systems, according to Energoatom. In the afternoon, the electricity operator Ukrenergo said he had « restored power to the » power plant.
« We play with fire », warned, from Vienna, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency ( IAEA ), Rafael Grossi. « This is a serious violation of nuclear security, caused by Russia », abounded Josep Borell.
Explosions in Kiev hit south and west neighborhoods, according to the mayor. Three people were injured, informed the police. On Prospekt Peremoguy, in the west of the capital, three cars parked near a tall apartment building were charred, found a correspondent for Agence France-Presse, and several others damaged.
« There was a very strong explosion », testifies Igor Iéjov, 60, who evacuated the building with his wife. « When it comes close, at home, it’s really a feeling of fear. »
Tension is also mounting in Moldova, a country neighboring south-western Ukraine. The pro-Russian separatists in Transnistria assured Thursday that Ukraine wanted to carry out an attack in the center of their capital, Tiraspol, to « eliminate » their leaders and do « a large number of victims ».
« I have already ordered the Minister of Foreign Affairs to prepare statements for all members of the UN Security Council. ( … ) We [ ] will call to examine this situation and ensure our safety », said the head of the separatists, Vadim Krasnoselskiï, in a televised address in Russian. Moldovan Prime Minister Dorin Recean said « not have confirmation » of these allegations, and the Ukrainian security services ( SBU ) denounced a « provocation orchestrated by the Kremlin ». Moldova and the West regularly accuse Moscow of using Transnistria to further destabilize neighboring Ukraine.
Source: Le Monde