At least 30 missile attacks were launched by Russia on various Ukrainian regions on January 26, the invaded nation’s authorities reported. The ramming leaves at least one person dead and extensive damage to energy infrastructure. The new spate of attacks with drones and missiles comes at a time when NATO is increasing its military aid to kyiv with combat tanks, which the Kremlin described as a “direct participation” of the West in the conflict.
Moscow responds with a barrage of missiles and drones to increased military aid from NATO allies to Ukraine.
Air raid sirens went off across the Ukrainian territory in the early hours of Thursday, January 26, when Russian troops hit different regions with an avalanche of explosive missiles and drones.
At least 30 missile assaults were launched as Ukrainian forces shot down incoming Russian missiles, the attacked nation’s military said.
The city of Mykolaiv and the Odessa region in the south of the country, as well as kyiv, the capital, in the north, are among the areas that have been hit by the renewed fury of the Kremlin.
As a result, at least one person was killed and two were injured in the capital after parts of a missile fell, kyiv’s military administration explained.
“From the impact of a rocket on a non-residential building in the Golosiivsky district, there is information that one person died and two were injured,” confirmed the mayor of the nation’s capital, Vitali Klitschko.
Ukrainian troops say they shot down 47 of the at least 55 missiles fired by Russia.
“The goal of the Russians remains unchanged: psychological pressure on the Ukrainians and the destruction of critical infrastructure (…) But we cannot be broken,” remarked Ukrainian General Valery Zaluzhny.
Damage to Ukraine’s energy grid on the rise
The assaults inflicted new damage on the already battered Ukrainian energy infrastructure, weakened by previous attacks and struggling to supply citizens with electricity and heating, in the middle of a day in which the thermometers marked -1 degrees Celsius in cities like kyiv.
Against this background, Ukraine imposed power cuts in several regions, in an attempt to ease the pressure on the power grid.
“Due to the threat of a missile attack on kyiv and the kyiv, Odessa and Dnipropetrovsk regions, emergency blackouts have been introduced,” said DTEK, the largest private electricity producer in Ukraine.
Initially, the new spate of attacks appeared to be a continuation of previous attacks, but announcements from Moscow on Thursday would signal a rematch, after kyiv’s Western allies confirmed sending powerful main battle tanks to Volodymyr Zelensky’s army.
Russia: Delivery of NATO tanks to kyiv shows “direct involvement” of the West in the war
From the United States to Europe, the decision confirmed a day earlier by NATO members to deliver main battle tanks to Ukraine was enthusiastically hailed, but clearly not by Moscow.
This January 26, the Kremlin stressed that the measure shows the “direct participation” and “growing” of the West in the conflict that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered on February 24, 2022.
“There are constant statements from European capitals and from Washington that sending various weapons systems to Ukraine, including tanks, in no way signifies the participation of these countries or the alliance in the hostilities in Ukraine (…) We categorically disagree “With this, and in Moscow everything that the alliance (NATO) and the capitals that I mentioned are doing is seen as a direct participation in the conflict. We see that this is growing,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
This is the first reaction from Moscow after the official confirmation, on Wednesday, January 25, from Germany and the United States about the delivery of powerful combat tanks.
Berlin announced a first delivery of 14 of its powerful Leopard 2 tanks and the authorization to re-export these same types of tanks in the hands of other European nations to kyiv.
Washington reported on the transfer of 31 Abrams tanks.
Although the combat vehicles would take months to arrive in Ukraine, NATO believes they would be decisive in the course of the war. For months, President Volodimir Zelensky insisted on his surrender to stop the advance of the Russians.
The greater military cooperation of Western countries to the attacked country raises the fury of the Kremlin, although it tries to underestimate its usefulness.
“The potential it gives the Ukrainian armed forces is clearly exaggerated (…) Those tanks will burn like any other,” Peskov added.
Prior to the confirmations, President Vladimir Putin, his diplomats and military leaders repeatedly warned the West that supplying long-range weapons capable of striking deep into Russia would draw a red line and trigger a massive retaliation.
With Reuters, AP and local media