Russia stepped up rocket attacks on many areas across Ukraine in connection with the West’s arms race to Kyiv.
Hostilities in Ukraine escalated again on May 7 in the coastal region of Ukraine. Southern port city Odesa suffered two attacks by Russian cruise missiles while the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works in Mariupol was also constantly bombed.
The Russian military also launched missiles into many other areas, including Kharkiv in the Northeast, sumi in the north and Poltava in the central region.
Odessa province was hit by at least 10 rockets in two attacks, the first four hitting targets outside the city of the same name but causing no casualties.
Natalia Humeniuk, a spokeswoman for Ukraine’s Southern Operations Command, said the remaining six missiles hit the central area and damaged an airstrip in the city.
The Sumy provincial government also confirmed that Myropilske and Khotin oblasts were hit by a Russian missile, killing at least one border guard.
Poltava province military chief Dmytro Lunin said several targets in the province had been hit by rockets, but no casualties had been reported. Local air defenses shot down a Russian missile flying over the area.
The series of rocket attacks was carried out by Russia in connection with Western efforts to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine. Experts say the coming days are a crucial time for the “arms race” between Russian forces and the Ukrainian army in the east.
Eastern Ukraine remains the area of the fiercest fighting. Both Moscow and Kyiv organized attacks in the region Donbass with the aim of controlling more territory.
Observers say Russia could ramp up pressure on the last stronghold in Mariupol over the next few days, aiming to secure complete victory in the port city ahead of the victory milestone on May 9, the 77th anniversary of the military victory fascist Germany.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov announced on May 7 that the Russian air force had attacked 18 Ukrainian army targets, including two command posts in Kharkov, five manpower and equipment assembly points and three ammunition depots near the southern city of Odessa . Russian artillery simultaneously hit more than 200 different targets.
“280 nationalist fighters and 48 military units were wiped out,” he said.
In a later update, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the Russian Air Defense Forces shot down another 17 enemy UAVs, three Tochka-U tactical ballistic missiles and nine Smerch rocket artillery shells in the Nikolaev, Donetsk, Kherson and Kharkiv regions.
The Ukrainian military is also trying to counter Russian forces. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine announced that the Bayraktar TB2 armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) destroyed Russian targets, including a Serna-class light landing craft and a Tor-M2 short-range air defense vehicle, on Ukraine’s southern money island Zmiinyy. The Russian Defense Ministry has not commented on the information.
Britain’s Defense Ministry said the war in Ukraine was causing significant damage to elite Russian military units, causing the country to lose some of its most advanced weapons. Russia has lost at least one T-90M tank, while the country’s army has just commissioned about 100 of the same type.
Amid fierce fighting, efforts to evacuate civilians from the war zone have yielded positive results. Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk announced the humanitarian evacuation of the Azovstal Iron and Steel Plant, the city’s last point of resistance. Mariupol, ready. All children, elderly and women were evacuated from the Azov Sea Iron and Steel Factory.
Pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region also announced the evacuation of 152 other people, including 32 children, from Mariupol. The group of civilians were returned to the area under their control.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) noted that more than 5.8 million Ukrainians left the country after February 24, when Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), more than 6,800 civilians have died or been injured in the conflict.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in the US estimated that the Ukrainian counterattacks are “pushing Russian forces out of Kharkov’s artillery range in the next few days,” which could cool hostilities in the city and create conditions for violence with a full-scale counterattack organize higher chances of success.
Surname (Corresponding TASS, AP, Reuters, CNN)