Russia Attacks Ukraine With Missiles, Promised Tanks Show US, Europe’s ‘Direct Involvement’ In War ‘Growing’
Russia launched a wave of new missile and drone attacks against it Ukraine At least 11 people were killed, including one in the capital Kyiv, and the country’s already ailing energy infrastructure was targeted, according to emergency officials, according to emergency officials. The strikes forced officials to shut off power in some regions to cope with reduced capacity.
Air raid sirens wailed across the country on Thursday morning, heralding the latest strikes. Ukraine’s national emergency services agency later said the strikes killed 11 people and injured the same number as Russia responded to a landmark decision by US President Joe Biden to supply Ukraine with modern, powerful M1 Abrams main battle tank.
While the 31 American tanks won’t reach the battlefields of eastern Ukraine for months, Mr Biden’s pledge came with a similar one, given the need to train and equip Ukrainian forces to use the advanced hardware Germany’s commitment to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine – and to allow other European nations to send German-made leopards from their stocks.
There are hundreds of Leopard tanks on military bases across Europe, and they can be delivered to Ukraine in less time than the Abrams.
Both the US and Germany have said the goal is to make dozens of tanks, likely around 100, available to Ukrainian forces so they can break through Russian front lines and retake occupied territory.
The question is whether the tanks can be deployed in time to help the country repel a fresh Russian offensive expected in the coming weeks or months – or to lead the charge in a Ukrainian counter-offensive against Moscow.
Russia sent mixed signals after Wednesday’s announcements by Washington and Berlin, downplaying the strategic value of Western military hardware for Ukraine, but also renewed warnings about the risks that the war could escalate into a larger regional conflict if NATO -States expand their conflict Part of the fight.
“There are constant statements from European capitals, from Washington, that sending various weapon systems, including tanks, to Ukraine in no way implies involvement of these countries or the alliance [NATO] in the hostilities that are taking place in Ukraine,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday [Washington] is perceived as direct involvement in the conflict and we see it growing.”
Exactly a week ago, a senior Russian politician and an ally of President Vladimir Putin issued a stark warning about how Moscow might respond to a perceived military defeat in Ukraine.
“The defeat of a nuclear power in a conventional war can trigger a nuclear war,” former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is now deputy chairman of the Security Council, said in a post on the messaging app Telegram.
It’s not clear how long it will take European NATO allies to move Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine in significant numbers and train the country’s armed forces in them, but Germany’s leader said the training on German soil will be completed within a few days would begin.
the Struggle for territory in eastern Donbass of Ukraine Region, more than half of which is occupied by Russian forces, has been grueling. Tank battles have been going on for months, with Ukraine relying on its stockpiles of Soviet-era hardware.
HR McMaster, national security analyst for CBS News, a former US national security adviser and longtime battlefield commander, says that American tanks in particular – once they arrive – will give Ukraine a much-needed boost of firepower against the Russians.
“If the crew knows what they’re doing, is well trained, does the preparation and fire controls, maintains the tank well, you just can’t miss it,” he said, “and anything you hit will be catastrophically destroyed.”
The Leopards will also be a significant upgrade, moving faster and having more firepower and personnel armor than the tanks Ukraine currently has.
But until the machines actually join the fight, the grueling back-and-forth battle – and Russia’s devastating air strike – will likely continue until one side launches a new offensive.
Ukraine said it shot down the majority of missiles fired by Russia on Thursday and all drones sent across the border.
Ukraine’s Energy Minister German Galushchenko said Russia is trying to “induce a systemic failure in Ukraine’s energy system” and confirmed that “emergency shutdowns have been put in place”, with the greatest impact in the capital, around the central city of Vinnytsia, to be felt. and near the southern port city of Odessa.
The situation around the Black Sea port “can last for several days before the damaged power plants are restored,” according to the region’s energy supplier.
At the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO added the historic center of Odessa World Heritage List as a city at risk on Wednesday, CBS News correspondent Pamela Falk reported.
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said Odessa is a “free city, a cosmopolitan city and a legendary port” that is now under “enhanced protection” as the United Nations will now ensure repairs are made to any damage central Odessa amid of the Russian war were inflicted on Ukraine. Russia tried to block the UNESCO appointment and then condemned it.
The Russian missiles that hit critical energy infrastructure in Odessa and other regions, killing 11 people, were a stark reminder that the war Vladimir Putin started nearly a year ago is far from over.