Russia strikes facilities deep in Ukraine

La Russie frappe des installations au plus profond de l'Ukraine - Phil Team

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia unleashed a series of attacks on Ukrainian rail and oil facilities on Monday, hitting crucial infrastructure far from the front line of its eastern offensive, which Britain says will not has not yet achieved any significant breakthrough.

Meanwhile, two fires were reported at oil facilities in western Russia. It is not known what caused the fires.

While both parties 2 month war Bracing for what could be a tough battle of attrition in the industrial heartland of the country's east, senior US officials have pledged more help to secure Ukraine's victory.

During meetings with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Sunday, the US Secretaries of State and Defense said that Washington had approved a $165 million ammunition sale for Ukraine's war effort, as well as over $300 million in foreign military funding.

"The strategy we have put in place - massive support for Ukraine, massive pressure against Russia, solidarity with more than 30 countries committed to these efforts - is delivering real results," Blinken told reporters in Poland the day after the meeting.

“As far as Russia's war aims are concerned, Russia is failing. Ukraine is succeeding,” he added.

Speaking to senior officials in the Attorney General's Office on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the United States and its allies had tried in vain to "divide Russian society and destroy Russia from within."


When Russia invaded on February 24, its apparent objective was a lightning offensive that would quickly take the capital and perhaps even overthrow the government in kyiv. But the Ukrainians, aided by western weapons , bogged down Putin's troops and thwarted their push towards kyiv .

Moscow now claims to focus on the eastern Donbass region, but senior military official says he also wants to control southern Ukraine . While both sides have said the campaign in the east has begun, it has yet to gain momentum.

A small group of Ukrainian soldiers holed up in a steelworks in the strategic town of Mariupol are pinning down Russian forces and preventing them from being added to the offensive elsewhere in the Donbass, the British Ministry of Defense said on Monday.

Over the weekend, Russian forces launched new airstrikes on the steelworks in an attempt to dislodge the approximately 2,000 fighters inside. About 1,000 civilians are also sheltering in the steelworks, and the Russian military pledged to open a humanitarian corridor on Monday to allow them to leave.

Mariupol has endured heavy fighting since the start of the war due to its strategic location on the Sea of ​​Azov. In addition to freeing Russian troops, its capture would deprive Ukraine of a vital port and allow Moscow to establish a land corridor to the Crimean peninsula, which it seized from Ukraine in 2014.

But so far, the British Ministry of Defense has said Russia has "not yet achieved a significant breakthrough" since focusing on Donbass. Ukrainian forces repelled numerous assaults last week and "inflicted a significant cost on Russian forces", he said.


Instead, Russian missiles and warplanes have hit far behind the front line of this offensive on Monday .

Oleksandr Kamyshin, the head of Ukraine's state-run railways, said five railway facilities in central and western Ukraine were hit early on Monday, including a missile attack near the western town from Lviv.

Serhiy Borzov, the governor of Ukraine's central Vinnytsia region, said there were casualties after rocket fire targeted "critical infrastructure". It was unclear whether this referred to attacks on the railroads.

Russia also destroyed an oil refinery in Kremenchuk, central Ukraine, as well as fuel depots, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Monday. In total, Russian warplanes destroyed 56 Ukrainian targets overnight, he said.

Meanwhile, a major fire broke out early Monday at an oil depot in a Russian town about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the Ukrainian border, the Russian Emergencies Ministry said. No cause was given for the fire.

The Bryansk oil depot is owned by a subsidiary of Russian state-controlled Transneft, which operates the Druzhba pipeline that transports crude west to other European countries. It was unclear whether the depot was part of the pipeline infrastructure and whether the fire could affect those deliveries.

The ministry said in a statement that the massive fire damaged a depot containing diesel fuel. He noted that the region has enough diesel for 15 days.

A Russian report said another oil storage facility in Bryansk also caught fire early Monday, and the cause was not immediately known.

Last month, two Ukrainian helicopter gunships hit an oil tank in the Russian region of Belgorod, which borders Ukraine, causing a fire.

In a video address on Monday, Zelenskyy described his meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin as "encouraging and, above all, effective."

The Ukrainian leader added that they agreed "on new measures to strengthen the armed forces of Ukraine and meet all the priority needs of our army". Earlier he praised US President Joe Biden for his "personal support".

The three-hour meeting took place on Sunday, the 60th day since the start of the invasion, as Ukraine pressured the West for stronger weapons against Russia's campaign in Donbass, where the Moscow-backed separatists controlled some territories before the war.

With Russia's shift in focus, Austin said Ukraine's military needs were changing and Zelenskyy was now focusing on more tanks, artillery and other ammunition.

Asked what the United States considers a success, Austin said that "we want to see Ukraine remain a sovereign country, a democratic country capable of protecting its sovereign territory, we want to see Russia weakened to the point where it does not can't do things like invade Ukraine.

As Blinken and Austin left Ukraine, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was due to visit Turkey on Monday, then Moscow and Kiev. Zelenskyy criticized Guterres for visiting Russia before Ukraine.

Blinken said he spoke with Guterres on Friday before the trip.

“We expect him to send a very loud and clear message to Vladimir Putin, which is the need to end this war now,” he said.

In a boost for Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron comfortably won a second term on Sunday against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who pledged to dilute France's ties with the European Union and NATO. Le Pen had also spoken out against EU sanctions on Russian energy and had come under scrutiny during the campaign due to her previous friendship with the Kremlin.



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