World

Kyiv arms plant hit by Russia may have made missiles that sank Moskva | Ukraine

An arms plant in Kyiv destroyed by Russian long-range air-launched rockets allegedly produced at least one of the missiles used to sink the Moskva warship.

The attack on Friday was widely regarded by both parties as the most significant revenge strike by the Kremlin after the sinking of Russia’s flagship vessel in the Black Sea and a reminder that, despite being liberated from the occupants, the war in the Ukrainian capital is far from over.

According to Ukraine’s state weapons manufacturer, the Vizar factory, located near Kyiv’s international airport, produced Neptune cruise missiles, at least one of which Ukraine says was used to sink the Moskva.

The strikes on Friday were followed by other explosions early on Saturday, after a military hardware factory in the capital’s Darnytsky district was bombed by Russian forces.

“There were five hits,” Andrei Sizov, the 47-year-old owner of a nearby wood workshop, told Agence France-Presse. “My employee was in the office and got thrown off his feet by the blast. They are making us pay for destroying the Moskva.”

Rescuers and medics are working on the site and the number of casualties is being clarified.

Russia’s defense ministry said it had used sea-based “high-precision long-range” weapons to hit the plant.

The strike on the Ukrainian capital is among the first since invading Russian forces began withdrawing from regions around Kyiv as the city, day by day, seemed to be returning to normal. Shops were beginning to reopen and citizens were taking back the streets.

Before the invasion, the greater Kyiv area had a population of 3.5 million, but after the first bombardments the Ukrainian capital began to look like a ghost town, with one in two residents leaving the city.

After the announcement that the region of Kyiv had been liberated from the Russians in what was described as Ukraine’s biggest victory in the war, thousands of residents who had left after the invasion were preparing to return. However, following two weeks of relative calm in the city, on Saturday morning – after an attack on an armored vehicle plant in the Ukrainian capital – the mayor of Kyiv, Vitaly Klitschkowarned residents that the time was not right to return.

“Once again, I appeal to everyone: please do not ignore the air alarms,” Klitschko said on his official Telegram channel. “And those Kyivites who left earlier and are already going to return to the capital, I ask you to refrain from this and stay in safer places.”

The recent attacks in the capital came as no surprise after the Russian defense ministry promised to bomb targets in Kyiv in response to what it said were “terrorist and sabotage” attacks on its territory carried out by Ukraine’s “nationalist regime”. The reference was to the destruction of the giant missile cruiser by Ukrainian forces during a combat operation against Russian vessels in the Black Sea on Wednesday. The boat’s ammunition deck exploded after it was hit by two Neptune missiles, produced in the plant that Russian forces destroyed on Friday.

The Kremlin has not given any details on possible casualties among the 510 crew of the Moskva and has not released any photographs of the destroyed ship, but on Russian television, hosts and pundits spoke in vehement terms about wiping out “Ukraineness” after the destruction of the flagship.

Air raid sirens sounded in cities and regions overnight including Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Kryvyi Rih and Dnipropetrovsk. Explosions were also heard in the western city of Lviv, while the war intensifies in the east, with Russia sending additional troops to try to drive Ukrainian forces out of Donbas.

At least two Ukrainians were killed overnight in Russian airstrikes on cities in the east of the country. Officials reported fatalities in Poltava, Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. Russia said it also struck a military vehicle repair factory in Mykolaiv, close to the southern front.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said up to 3,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed since Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, with no total yet available for civilian casualties.

In other developments:

  • Russia’s foreign ministry has barred entry to the country for the prime minister, Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, Liz Truss, the defense secretary, Ben Wallace and 10 other British government politicians and members. The move was taken “in view of the unprecedented hostile action by the British government, in particular the imposition of sanctions against senior Russian officials”, Reuters reports the ministry said in a statement.

  • The battle for Mariupol is continuing. If Moscow captures the city, home to 400,000 people before the invasion, it would be the first big city to fall.

  • Nine humanitarian corridors have been agreed for Saturday, the Ukrainian deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, announced. Five of the nine evacuation corridors are from the east, in Ukraine’s Luhansk region, which local officials have said is under heavy shelling.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button