Russia attacks Kyiv region for the first time in weeks

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On Thursday, Russian forces launched a missile attack on the Kyiv region, as well as the northern Chernihiv region, in what Ukraine claimed was retaliation for standing up to the Kremlin.

Russia attacks Kyiv region for the first time in weeks

Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials announced a counteroffensive to retake the occupied Kherson region in the country’s south, which was captured by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces early in the war.

Early in the morning, the Vyshhorod district on the outskirts of Kyiv was targeted, and a “infrastructure object” was hit, regional Gov. Oleksiy Kuleba said on Telegram. There was no word on any casualties right away. Vyshhorod is located 20 kilometers north of the capital’s core.

Vyshhorod district

Kuleba linked the strikes to the Day of Statehood, a commemoration instituted by President Volodymyr Zelensky last year and observed by Ukraine for the first time on Thursday.

Russia is retaliating with missiles for the widespread popular resistance that Ukrainians were able to organize precisely because of their statehood,” Kuleba told Ukrainian television. “Ukraine has already defied Russia’s plans and will defend itself.”

Vyacheslav Chaus, the regional governor of Chernihiv, reported that the Russians also fired missiles from Belarusian territory at the village of Honcharivska. In recent weeks, the Chernihiv region had not been targeted.

After failing to capture either Kyiv Region or Chernihiv, Russian troops withdrew months ago.

Denis Pushilin, the leader of pro-Kremlin separatists in the east, urged Russian forces to “liberate Russian cities founded by the Russian people — Kyiv, Chernihiv, Poltava, Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Lutsk.”

According to the mayor, Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, was also shelled overnight. The southern city of Mykolaiv was also targeted, with one person injured.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military continued its offensive in the Kherson region, taking out a key bridge over the Dnieper River on Wednesday.

The operation to liberate Kherson is underway, according to Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich, with Kyiv’s forces planning to isolate Russian troops and leave them with three options: “retreat, if possible, surrender, or be destroyed.”

The Russians are concentrating maximum forces in the direction of Kherson, according to Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, warning that “a very large-scale movement of their troops has begun.”

According to the British military, Ukraine has used new long-range artillery supplied by the West to damage at least three of the Dnieper bridges that Russia relies on to supply its forces.
According to Ukraine’s presidential office, Russian shelling of cities and villages in the previous 24 hours killed at least five civilians.

In recent weeks, the fighting has centered on the Donetsk province. It has gotten worse in recent days, as Russian forces appeared to come out of a reported “operational pause” after taking neighboring Luhansk province.

A missile destroyed two floors of a residential building in Toretsk early Thursday morning.

“Again, missile terror. We are not giving up. We will not be frightened, “Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of Donetsk region, stated on Telegram.
Military analysts believe Russian forces are concentrating their efforts in the Donetsk province cities of Bakhmut and Siversk.

Zelensky established the Day of Statehood to remind Ukrainians of their country’s independence. The commemoration honors Prince Vladimir, who more than 1000 years ago made Christianity the official religion of the medieval state of Kyivan Rus.

The Kremlin also claims the Kyivan Rus heritage. Putin erected a monument to Prince Vladimir near the Kremlin in 2016.

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