On Thursday, Russia fired a barrage of missiles against Ukraine, just one day after the United States and Germany offered tanks to assist Ukraine in its resistance to the ongoing invasion.
The state’s emergency agency said that 35 structures were struck across multiple locations, resulting in the deaths of 11 persons and injuries to an additional 11.
It was reported that the region surrounding Kyiv has sustained the most damage to residential buildings.
In addition, according to official reports, there were attacks on two energy plants in the Odesa region.
Russia stated that it interpreted the fresh promise of military support, which followed a UK pledge to provide Challenger 2 battle tanks, as “direct” Western engagement in the conflict. This revelation coincided with the barrage that was launched.
According to the head of the Ukrainian armed forces, Moscow launched 55 air and sea-based missiles on Thursday as part of what the Ukrainians describe as a relentless and extensive onslaught.
In addition, according to Valery Zaluzhny, 47 of them were shot down, including 20 in and around Kyiv.
Earlier, the Ukrainian air force announced that it had successfully shot down a group of Iranian-made attack drones that had been launched by Russian forces from the Sea of Azov in the southern region of Ukraine.
According to the official accounts, a non-residential structure in the south of the capital was attacked, resulting in the death of one man, age 55, and the injury of two other people.
The offensive was a continuation of Russia’s strategy, which has been aimed at Ukraine’s infrastructure for the past few months. The brutally cold winter has destroyed power stations, plunging millions of people into darkness.
According to DTEK, the largest private power producer in Ukraine, following the strikes that took place on Thursday, emergency power cuts were implemented in Kyiv and several other locations to relieve pressure on the electricity grid.
Following several weeks of pressure from the international community, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz committed the day before to give Ukraine 14 Leopard 2 tanks. It is generally agreed that they are some of the most effective battle tanks that are currently available.
It is anticipated that the heavy armament would arrive either at the end of March or the beginning of April.
Later, Vice President Joe Biden announced that the United States will be sending 31 M1 Abrams battle tanks. This marked a reversal of long-standing claims made by the Pentagon that these tanks are not a good fit for the battlefield in Ukraine.
Additionally, Canada has committed to delivering to Ukraine within the next few weeks four Leopard tanks that are described as being “battle ready,” along with the personnel necessary to instruct Ukrainian troops on how to operate the tanks.
On Thursday, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, announced that a total of twelve countries have now joined what he referred to as the “tank alliance.”
An adviser to Ukraine’s minister of defence stated on the Today programme of BBC Radio 4 that for tanks to be a “game-changer,” there would need to be between 300 and 400 of them.
What caused Germany to postpone the shipment of tanks to Ukraine
Yuriy Sak was quoted as saying, “The sooner we defeat Russia on the battlefield utilising Western weaponry, the sooner we will be able to put an end to this missile horror and restore peace.”
While participating in the same programme, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg shared his opinion that supplying Ukraine with tanks would make a significant improvement in the country’s capabilities to achieve victory in the conflict.
Additionally, he issued a stern warning that Russia was preparing a new offensive just as reports from Ukraine began coming of missile strikes following drone operations throughout the previous night.
On Thursday, the United States government labelled the Russian Wagner group as a transnational criminal organisation. This outfit is thought to have thousands of mercenaries operating in Ukraine.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated in the statement that further sanctions were imposed on the group as well as its affiliates to “further restrict [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s ability to arm and equip his war machine.”