ISSN 2330-717X

Russia Intensifies Attacks On Kyiv A Day After After Losing Key Warship

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(RFE/RL) — Russia’s Defense Ministry warned on April 15 that it will intensify attacks on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, after accusing Ukraine of targeting Russian border towns.

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The statement came a day after Russia suffered a symbolic defeat with the loss of its Black Sea fleet flagship, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy hailed his people for their resolve since Russia invaded in February and for making “the most important decision of their life — to fight.”

Zelenskiy told Ukrainians late on April 14 that they should be proud of having survived 50 days under Russian attack when the invaders “gave us a maximum of five.”

Zelenskiy noted “those who showed that Russian warships can sail away, even if it’s to the bottom” of the sea in a reference to Russia’s guided-missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, which sank in the Black Sea after being damaged in disputed circumstances.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the vessel sank while being towed to port in a storm after it was heavily damaged by fire. Ukrainian officials said their forces hit the vessel with a Neptune anti-ship missile earlier in the day.

The United States said it did not have enough information to determine whether the Moskva was hit by a missile.

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“[But] certainly, the way this unfolded, it’s a big blow to Russia,” U.S. national-security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

The ship’s loss comes as Russia’s navy continues its bombardment of Ukrainian cities on the Black Sea nearly 50 days after it invaded the country.

Powerful explosions were heard in Kyiv on April 15, according to local media, and fighting raged in the east.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that Russian troops hit a “military” factory outside Kyiv late on April 14 using Kalibr sea-based long-range missiles.

The Ukrainian presidency says explosions were heard in the Vasylkiv area outside the capital.

The Russian ministry also said its S-400 missile system shot down a Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter, which carried out “an attack on civilians in the locality of Klimovo in the Bryansk region on April 14.”

The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) rejected Russia’s accusations on April 14, calling them “an attempt to ignite anti-Ukraine hysteria in Russia.”

Explosions were also heard on April 15 in the southern city of Kherson, the eastern city of Kharkiv, and in Ukraine’s western city of Ivano-Frankivsk, media reported.

Ukrainian authorities continue to expect an imminent, stepped-up offensive by Russian forces in the eastern part of the country.

Russian forces are currently focusing their attacks in eastern Ukraine in an attempt to capture the towns of Popasna and Rubizhne in the Luhansk region, a Ukrainian military assessment said on April 15.

However, they have not succeeded, according to the Ukrainian General Staff’s military situation report.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian official said at least 503 civilians have been killed in the country’s eastern Kharkiv region since Russia launched its unprovoked invasion on February 24.

Regional Governor Oleh Synehubov said in a post on Telegram that the dead included 24 children.

The city near the Russian border has been on the eastern front line since the start of the war and has suffered massive destruction.

RFE RL

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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