Russia responds after the sinking of the Moskva, and strikes the “Neptune” missile factory

In the wake of the sinking of its main battleship in the Black Sea, Russia promised Friday to intensify its strikes on Kyiv in response to the attacks it described as “terrorist”, the first targeting of the Neptune missile factory that Ukrainians claim sank “Moskva”.

“Le nombre et l’ampleur des frappes de missiles sur des sites de Kiev vont augmenter en réplique à toutes les attaques de type terroriste et aux sabotages menés en territoire russe par le régime nationaliste de Kiev”, a mis en garde russe de ministère Defense.

AFP journalists at the scene reported Friday that a missile factory in the Kyiv region was bombed by Russia during the night.

For its part, the Russian Ministry announced the destruction of a workshop for the production of missiles at the Visar plant, located on the outskirts of Kyiv.

The Vizar plant is one of the Ukrainian factories that manufacture these missiles, notes on its website UkrOboronProm, the state holding company that oversees Ukrainian arms factories.

And Agence France-Presse indicated that a factory workshop and an administrative building adjacent to it, located in the town of Vishnevi, about thirty kilometers southwest of the Ukrainian capital, were severely damaged. The windows of about fifty cars parked in the nearby car park were also smashed.

– ‘Moskva bill’ –

Craftsman Andrei Sizov, 47, told AFP he heard “five percussion”. “For me, this is the bill for the destruction of Moskva,” he said.

Russia has so far claimed that the cruiser Moskva, the flagship of its Black Sea Fleet, suffered fire and explosions from its munitions on Wednesday. The ship sank on Thursday.

The Ukrainians claimed that they had hit the ship with indigenously manufactured Neptune cruise missiles, which caused a great setback and humiliation for the Russian army.

Russia also said, on Thursday, that Ukraine bombed Russian border villages, including incursions of helicopter gunships into Russian territory.

Kyiv rejected these accusations and in turn accused the Russian special services of carrying out “terrorist attacks” in the border region to fuel “anti-Ukrainian hysteria”.

The Russian Investigative Committee claimed that two Ukrainian helicopters ‘equipped with heavy weapons’ entered Russia and carried out ‘at least six raids on residential buildings in the village of Klimovo in the Bryansk region.’

Seven people, including a child, were injured “to varying degrees”, according to the Russian accusations, which are impossible to verify independently.

– Shooting at buses evacuating civilians –

The Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office said, on Friday, that seven civilians were killed and 27 others were wounded, Thursday, by Russian fire on evacuation buses in the eastern Kharkiv region.

The Ukrainian army announced, on Friday, that a new exchange of Russian and Ukrainian prisoners of war took place in the Kherson region (south) Thursday.

Russia also claimed to have killed about 30 “Polish mercenaries” in a raid carried out in northeastern Ukraine.

In addition, on Friday Moscow warned Sweden and Finland against NATO membership in Sweden and Finland which would have “consequences” for these two countries and European security.

Helsinki and Stockholm are considering joining NATO in response to Russia’s military attack on Ukraine.

– ‘Hard blow’ –

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Thursday that the loss of the cruiser Moskva was a “severe blow” to the Russian fleet in the region, with “consequences for their combat capabilities.”

Spokesman for the Odessa Regional Military Administration Sergey Brachuk explained that the ship “provided air cover for other ships during their operations, in particular the bombing of the coast and landing maneuvers.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky came home in a video message late Thursday, saying the Ukrainians “have shown that Russian ships can only go to the bottom.”

William Burns, the head of the CIA, the main US intelligence agency, warned Thursday that military setbacks in Ukraine could prompt Russian President Vladimir Putin to turn to a tactical or low-energy nuclear weapon in that country.

But he insisted, “We haven’t actually seen any concrete signs such as military deployments or measures that could heighten our concerns.”

Ukraine’s parliament voted Thursday on a resolution calling the Russian attack a “genocide”.

– ‘Thousands of tanks’ –

In the largest region of the Donbass, the Donetsk region, where “the entire front-line fighting is taking place,” three people were killed and seven wounded, according to the Ukrainian presidency.

Another area of ​​this mining basin, Lugansk region, witnessed 24 explosions, which killed two people and injured two, according to the same source.

Russia, whose massive offensive on the Donbass has not yet begun, is struggling for complete control of Mariupol, a strategic port in the Sea of ​​Azov.

And President Zelensky since the beginning of the war has remained firmly rooted with his administration in the center of the capital, not ceasing to demand that the West hand over heavy weapons, lacking in resistance to the firepower of the Russians.

“Russia brought thousands of tanks, artillery pieces and all kinds of heavy weapons to the region, hoping to simply crush our army,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Thursday.

– ‘charred’ –

US President Joe Biden finally accepted Ukraine’s request on Wednesday, promising $800 million in new military assistance, including armor and long-range artillery.

In Mariupol (southeast) the greatest casualties of this war can be recorded in the near future. Ukrainian authorities reported the killing of about 20,000 people.

The martyred port city, which AFP was able to visit during a press trip organized by the Russian military this week, has come under fire that destroyed the infrastructure and homes of the half-million people who lived there when Vladimir Putin launched his offensive. against Ukraine on February 24.

Galina Vasilieva, 78, pointed out a nine-story building that had completely burned. “People are on fire inside,” says this retiree, queuing in front of a truck of pro-Russian separatists distributing humanitarian aid.

Today, after more than forty days, the fighting is confined to the vast industrial area near the seashore, where the Russian forces and their separatist allies in Donetsk laid down and then gradually tightened their terrible siege.

The conquest of this city would allow the Russians to consolidate their territorial gains by linking the Donbas region, which has been partially controlled by pro-Russian separatists since 2014, with the annexation of Crimea in the same year.

Overwhelmed by fierce Ukrainian resistance, analysts say, Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to win a victory in Donbass ahead of the May 9 military parade on Red Square marking the Soviet victory over the Nazis in 1945.

por-sheba / liter

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