After Russia accused Ukraine of carrying out a drone strike on the heart of Moscow, Russia has reportedly unleashed the worst attacks on Kyiv.
CNN reported that Ukraine’s military announced on May 4 that Russia launched its worst attacks on Kyiv in a year as missiles and drones struck the capital for the third time in four days. The move has been seen as Moscow’s revenge for what it considers was Ukrainian ploy to assassinate Vladimir Putin.
The head of the Kyiv city military administration, Serhiy Popko, wrote on Telegram, “Our city has not experienced such a heavy intensity of attacks since the beginning of this year! Last night, the aggressor launched another large-scale air strike on the capital.”
After Moscow bombarded the city with “Shahed-type barrage munitions and missiles, presumably ballistic,” Popko claimed that Ukrainian air defense forces destroyed all Russian missiles and drones in Kyiv airspace.
According to Popko, Kyiv’s air raid sirens rang for more than three hours throughout the strike. Additionally, early on the morning of May 4, explosions were audible in the capital and the southern port city of Odesa, informed the Ukrainian parliament member Oleksii Honcharenko.
Overnight #Russia ?? hit several #Ukraine ?? cities. Sources in Odesa tell me it was hit with 15 Iranian Shahed drones (12 intercepted) some of which carried the message "Za Moskvu" (for Moscow). As I predicted, RU using yesterday's alleged Kremlin strike to justify more attacks. pic.twitter.com/an30tI7K4f
— David Patrikarakos (@dpatrikarakos) May 4, 2023
According to the information made available by Ukrainian officials, the drones that attacked Odesa had the words “for Moscow” and “for the Kremlin” scribbled on them, raising the possibility that the overnight drone strikes across Ukraine were connected to the explosions in the Russian capital.
Although this points at Russia’s vengeance after the drone attack that has been seen as a breach of Moscow’s red lines, it may not be the first time that the Russian troops have resorted to retaliatory attacks with messages signaling revenge.
In December last year, after two Russian air bases – Engels Air Base in the Saratov region and the Dyagilevo Air Base in the Ryazan region – came under alleged Ukrainian drone attacks, Russia went on a rampage against Ukraine with massive missile and UAV attacks.
At the time, EurAsian Times had reported how Russian vengeance was fully displayed in the drone attack as one of the Shahed-136 shot down by Ukrainian air defense had ‘For Ryazan’ written on it. This referenced the alleged Ukrainian drone attack on the Dyagilevo Air Force Base in the Ryazan Oblast.
Russia attacked Kyiv and Zhytomyr with Iranian kamikaze drones "Shahed-136/131" this morning. As of now, air defense shot down 10 drones. Wreckage of one of the Shaheds shot down over central Kyiv has the inscription "For Ryazan". pic.twitter.com/K3FHRlLLbY
— Maria Avdeeva (@maria_avdv) December 14, 2022
As for the latest drone attack on the Kremlin, Ukrainian officials and military analysts have said that Moscow planned and staged the attack as an excuse to go all out against its attacks against Ukraine.
When asked about the accusations against Ukraine, President Zelensky said: “It’s very simple. Russia has no victories. He [Putin] can no longer motivate his society, and he can’t just send his troops to their death anymore… now he needs to motivate his people somehow to go forward.”
Moreover, a recent report released by the US-based Institute for Study of War (ISW) said that Moscow might have conducted this “false flag operation” to rally support behind its offensive against Ukraine, which has been steadily losing steam.
On its part, Russia has accused Ukraine and the United States of engineering the attack and has vowed stiff retaliation. A statement from Russia read, “Russia reserves the right to take retaliatory measures where and when it sees fit.” Both the US, as well as Ukraine have dismissed the Russian accusations.
Unsurprisingly, Ukraine has been met with a barrage of missiles and suicide drones smashing into the embattled country incessantly. The timing of these attacks is significant as they come right before an anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Ukraine Is Holding Fort
Ukraine has continued to attack Russian positions from the frontlines in what has been regarded as the “laying of ground” for an imminent counteroffensive. Ukraine announced on May 4 that Russian forces operating in Ukraine had lost 16 artillery systems in just over 24 hours.
The General Staff said on Facebook that since the full-scale war in February 2022, Russia had lost a total of 2,962 artillery systems.
Moreover, Ukrainian drone attacks on Russia have continued unabated, despite high tensions surrounding such attacks. For instance, two oil refineries in southwest Russia caught fire early on May 4 due to separately reported drone strikes. According to state-run news outlet TASS, a fire broke out in the reservoir of the Ilsky oil refinery in the Krasnodar region of southeastern Russia.
According to Vasily Golubev, the governor of Rostov, another drone attacked a fuel production facility in Russia close to the Ukrainian border at night. Golubev said the drone fell onto a flyover building site at the Novoshakhtinsk plant near the town of Kiselevka, igniting an explosion and fire that were quickly put out by plant personnel.
Although Ukraine has not owned responsibility for these attacks, they have invariably been attributed to the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU).
In a pre-dawn strike on May 4, Russia launched 24 kamikaze drones, but Ukrainian air defenses claimed to have shot down 18 of them. The Kyiv municipal government issued a statement claiming that all drones and missiles used to target the Ukrainian capital for the third time in four days had been destroyed. There were no casualties reported.
Moreover, despite the delayed counteroffensive, Ukrainian troops consistently pound Russian targets as they move their equipment to the frontlines while braving Russia’s continuing assault.
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