Day 460 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Russian Missile Attack in the Morning and at Noon
Day 460 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- Explosions at noon in Kyiv. Moscow attacked the Ukrainian capital with "Iskander-M", all missiles were destroyed
- Explosions in Kyiv early this morning
- Russia launched airstrikes against the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odesa
- Russia has included US Senator Graham on the list of wanted persons
- ISW: Broken promises to Wagner may be the reason for Prigozhin’s attacks on Putin
- Zelensky to Erdogan: I count on the strengthening of the strategic partnership between Turkey and Ukraine
- Report: Belarusian President Lukashenko taken to hospital after meeting with his Russian counterpart President Putin
- Hundreds of German civil servants will have to leave Russia in June
Explosions at noon in Kyiv. Moscow attacked the Ukrainian capital with "Iskander-M", all missiles were destroyed
Just hours after the overnight attack on Ukraine, Russian forces launched a new missile attack on the capital Kyiv at midday Monday, the Kyiv City Military Administration said. Judging by the short time from the announcement of the air threat to the arrival of the attack air assets, it can be assumed that Russia used Iskander-M ballistic missiles for the daytime attack.
At 11:09 a.m. local time, the public address system warned Kyiv residents to take shelter because of an air alert. A little later, according to eyewitnesses and comments on social networks, explosions were heard in the city, probably from the work of the Air Defense Forces. A video posted on Twitter shows children running along Mezhihirska Street in the area of the Kontraktova Ploshcha metro station in Podil towards a shelter after explosions hit Kyiv.
According to UNIAN, an air alert was declared in the capital Kyiv and the regions of Zhytomyr, Khmelnytskyi, Vinnytsia, Cherkasy, Kirovgradsk, Poltava, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Chernihiv, Donetsk and Luhansk. The Kyiv City Military Administration confirmed that the air defense system was activated, and at 12:23 p.m. a standoff was announced, while at the same time the authorities announced that all missiles fired at Kyiv had been destroyed. There is no information about enemy hits, but pictures of missile debris have appeared on the web. The information about the presence of victims is being clarified. One of the photos shows firefighters from the emergency service at the time of extinguishing the remains of a rocket in the Kyiv residential area "Obolon".
Against this background, as a manifestation of audacity and intransigence, one can look at the footage released today at noon from Kyiv, where newlyweds in the civil department had to go down to the bomb shelter and get married there to the sounds of an air raid.
On Monday at noon, Kyiv acknowledged a successful Russian attack on a military site in Khmelnytskyi region. It is likely that the Russians hit the territory of a local military airport, as the regional military administration reported that five aircraft were disabled. UNIAN writes about extinguishing a fire in a fuel warehouse and about the start of restoration work on the airport runway.
Answering the questions about the consequences of the attack of the Russian aggressors on the Khmelnytskyi region last night and about its damage to the Air Force of Ukraine, the representative of the Ukrainian military aviation Yuriy Ignat said live on the national TV marathon that "this is a war and the enemy will strike such sites as fuel depots and military airfields. Such information should be treated with care, especially when it is made public. I won't say what the consequences are. The fire is contained, I think that even if there was some damage there, it has already been repaired," said Ignat. The Air Force spokesman added that for now, one should not talk directly about the consequences of the Russian strikes.
"An air alert was declared and it took practically very little time for the enemy to strike first. This testifies that weaponry was used, i.e. missiles that fly on a ballistic trajectory, i.e. they arrive quite quickly. According to initial data, these were Iskanders", added Ignat. He specified that "Iskander" has different modifications. "Iskander-M" is precisely a ballistic missile, while "Iskander-K" is a cruise missile. A little later, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi confirmed that 11 Iskander missiles of both types were fired at the capital and that all of them were hit.
On the night of May 29, Russia organized a combined air attack against Ukraine using missiles and kamikaze drones from different directions. In the capital city of Kyiv, as a result of falling debris in the Podilskyi District (Podil), the roof of a one-story house was breached, there were no casualties. In Odesa, debris from a drone fell into a port infrastructure site and caused a fire. During the Russian attack, the Air Force destroyed 37 Russian cruise missiles and 29 "Shahed-136/131" attack drones.
Explosions in Kyiv early this morning
Several explosions rocked the Ukrainian capital Kyiv early this morning.
"A missile was shot down near Kyiv. Air defense is working!" wrote the mayor of the city, Vitaliy Klitschko, on his Telegram channel.
He added that explosions were heard in several areas of Kyiv, including the historic Podil district.
According to initial reports, there were no casualties in the Russian attack. The military administration in Kyiv reported that more than 40 targets moving towards the capital, including drones and missiles, were shot down by air defenses.
The attack this morning is the 15th against the Ukrainian capital since the beginning of May, BTA recalls. Yesterday, Kyiv was subjected to one of the largest Russian drone attacks since the beginning of the war, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi said Ukrainian defenses managed to repel almost entirely.
According to eyewitnesses, several loud explosions were heard in the capital, and an air alert was declared throughout Ukraine in the morning.
Ukraine is again under a missile attack. In Kyiv (and region) explosions of working air defense are heard. pic.twitter.com/JpgQN3Ud3V— NOELREPORTS ???????? ???????? (@NOELreports) May 29, 2023
Russia launched airstrikes against the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odesa
A Russian drone has damaged part of the infrastructure at Ukraine's Black Sea port of Odesa, which is key for grain exports, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the Ukrainian military.
"As a result of the strike, a fire broke out in the port infrastructure of Odesa. It was quickly extinguished. Information on the amount of damage is being updated," the Ukrainian operational command "South" said on Facebook.
The military did not say whether the damage to the port threatened grain exports. Ukraine can export grain and other food products under the grain initiative only through ports in Odesa region.
In July last year, the UN and Turkey struck a deal to export grain through the Black Sea for an initial period of 120 days to help tackle a global food crisis that has deepened since Russia invaded Ukraine, one of the leading grain exporters.
The deal, which was extended this month, aims to ensure safe exports of grain and foodstuffs during the conflict from three Ukrainian ports - Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi.
The Ukrainian military said Russian forces used Iranian-made Shahed unmanned aerial vehicles in the attack, but gave no further details about what happened.
Russia has included US Senator Graham on the list of wanted persons
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia has included US Senator Lindsey Graham in the list of wanted persons, Russian media reported today, citing information from the ministry, Reuters reported.
In an edited video of Graham's meeting with Volodymyr Zelenskyi on Friday, the senator is heard saying, "the Russians are dying" and then saying that American support (for Ukraine) "is the best-spent money".
Russia yesterday condemned Graham's comments. "It is difficult to imagine a greater shame for any country than having such senators," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
The head of Russia's Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, ordered an investigation into the senator's comments, DPA reported. "In a video circulating on the Internet, US Senator Lindsey Graham spoke about US financial involvement in the murder of Russian citizens during a meeting with the president of Ukraine," the committee announced in a Telegram publication. A legal assessment is being made of the senator's "Russophobic" comments, Russia's top investigative body added.
Following Russian criticism, Ukraine released the full transcript of the meeting, which made it clear that the senator's two comments were unrelated.
Graham yesterday disputed Russian criticism of his support for Ukraine, saying he was merely praising the spirit of Ukrainians in resisting the Russian invasion amid Washington's aid.
Russia has added dozens of US officials and elected politicians to lists of people banned from entering the country, but has rarely sought the arrest of senior US officials, according to Reuters.
ISW: Broken promises to Wagner may be the reason for Prigozhin’s attacks on Putin
Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin appears to be once again indirectly undermining Russian President Vladimir Putin's authority and regime, but the crux of it may be rooted in broken promises from the Kremlin mastermind to the owner of the private military company, according to the latest analysis of The Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Putin's chef reacted sharply to the dismissal of the journalist Konstantin Dolgov, to whom he gave an interview last week. At the end of the week, Yevgeny Prigozhin continued the topic of his presence in the media space, allegedly answering a journalist's question. Wagner's owner said Russian state media was banning any discussion of Wagner's forces, saying unnamed Russian bureaucrats would only be able to enjoy such censorship for the foreseeable future of one to three months before the Russian people push back and start hating bureaucrats. Prigozhin stated that Russian officials could have enjoyed their historic ability to censor Russian society if Russia had not started the war in Ukraine.
Prigozhin then gave advice to an unnamed official: "When starting a war, please have character, will and iron balls - and only then you will be able to achieve something." Prigozhin hinted that only real achievements (at the front) will allow the official to avoid lying about the construction of new buildings, subway stations and bridges in an attempt to look good. In particular, Prigozhin shifted the focus of the discussion from speaking to unnamed Russian officials, as it had hitherto been, to directly addressing a single individual. The Washington-based Institute believes Prigozhin's comments were most likely directed at Putin, whom Russian state media routinely portrays as a leader committed to small infrastructure projects and the lives of ordinary Russians. Putin held annual multi-hour "Direct Line" press conferences with constituents, in which he often answered questions about the jurisdiction and competence of local governments.
ISW suggests that Prigozhin may be attacking Putin for not giving him some promised reward for the capture of Bakhmut. Prigozhin's previous attack on Putin's personality was on May 9, a symbolic holiday that Putin may have wanted to use to describe Russia's claimed victory at Bakhmut as an achievement equivalent to the Soviet Union's 1945 capture of Berlin.
Kremlin state media compared the capture of Bakhmut to the Soviet victory in Berlin on May 21, possibly indicating that the Kremlin was preparing to associate the Bakhmut victory with Victory Day. Prigozhin, however, announced that Wagner had effectively captured Bakhmut by 10 May and had cleared the city by 20 May, and blamed the delay in the capture on the Russian Ministry of Defense's withholding of ammunition supplies for the mercenaries.
Prigozhin’s attacks on the Russian Ministry of War and, indirectly, Putin himself, combined with the boasting of Wagner's successes, may be a signal that Prigozhin was disappointed that he had not received some promised compensation for his victory at the Battle of Bakhmut. The Russian MoD may have deliberately sabotaged Prigozhin days or weeks before May 9 to prevent Wagner from capturing the remaining few blocks in western Bakhmut before Victory Day. Putin may have deliberately let the MoD sabotage Wagner to avoid having to fulfill the promise he made to Prigozhin. The businessman-commander had previously stated that if he had been given 200,000 men, Wagner would have made even more progress on the front line. Prigozhin’s May 28 statement and his past behavior may indicate that he envisioned an expansion of the Wagner presence at the expense of Russian conventional forces or the replacement of Russian military officials with Wagner-related personnel. ISW has previously assessed that Putin is a risk-averse actor who is concerned about the health of his regime and is therefore unlikely to fully satisfy Prigogine's radical demands.
PMC "Wagner" held an illegal rally in support of the formation on Sunday in Yekaterinburg, despite the previously announced ban on holding the rally by the local authorities. An estimated 100 to 150 cars of Wagner's staff and supporters marched from Yekaterinburg to the cemetery in Berezovsky, Sverdlovsk Oblast, where participants laid flowers at Wagner's monument. Some Russian opposition sources claim that local authorities have expressly banned the rally. Footage from the event shows luxury cars taking part in the event, which may be a signal that local businessmen have also joined it.
Zelensky to Erdogan: I count on the strengthening of the strategic partnership between Turkey and Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday for his victory in the second round of the presidential election, which gives him a third term as head of state, Reuters reported.
In his congratulations, Zelensky states that he relies on the strengthening of the "strategic partnership" between the two countries.
"We count on the further strengthening of the strategic partnership for the benefit of our countries, as well as on the strengthening of cooperation for the benefit of the security and stability of Europe," Zelensky wrote on his Twitter profile.
Report: Belarusian President Lukashenko taken to hospital after meeting with his Russian counterpart President Putin
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was taken to a hospital in Moscow after meeting his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Newsweek reported citing the Belarusian opposition leader.
Claiming that Lukashenko was in critical condition at the Central Clinical Hospital of Moscow, Belarus 2020 presidential candidate Valery Tsepkalo in a Saturday Telegram post said that the information his team obtained required further information and that it had not been confirmed, American weekly news magazine Newsweek reported. "According to the information we have, which requires additional confirmation, Lukashenko after a meeting with Putin behind closed doors, was urgently taken to the Central Clinical Hospital of Moscow, where he is currently staying," Tsepkalo said in a Telegram post.
"The best specialists were sent to return him (Lukashenko) from a condition assessed by doctors as critical," he added.
Tsepkalo's message on Telegram further said, "The organized measures to rescue the Belarusian dictator were aimed at averting speculation about the possible involvement of the Kremlin in his poisoning." He said that doctors have warned of a possible recurrence of relapses, as per the news report.
According to Newsweek, rumors around Lukashenko's health have been doing the rounds in the weeks after his appearance at the Victory Day celebration in Moscow's Red Square on May 9. However, Lukashenko, who has led Belarus since 1994, dismissed the rumors and said, "I'm not going to die guys."
Last week, Russia signed a deal with the Lukashenko government to formalize the deployment of tactical nuclear missiles in Belarus, the Russian news agency TASS reported.
The Defence ministers of Russia and Belarus signed the documents defining the procedures for storing Russian nuclear weapons at a special facility on Belarusian territory, the Belarusian Defense Ministry reported.
"During the meeting, documents determining the procedure for keeping Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons in a special storage facility on the territory of the Republic of Belarus were signed," the ministry's press service said.
The measures taken by Russia and Belarus "comply with all existing international legal obligations," it stressed. The defense ministers discussed the current military and political situation and issues of military and technical cooperation between the two countries.
Hundreds of German civil servants will have to leave Russia in June
Several hundred German civil servants, such as diplomats, teachers and employees of cultural organizations, have to leave Russia, DPA reported, citing a statement from the German Foreign Ministry.
In April, the Russian Foreign Ministry decided to limit the number of employees in German missions and intermediary organizations in Russia in response to Berlin's decision to expel a number of Russian intelligence officials, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported, citing the German Foreign Ministry.
"This restriction, which Russia has been introducing since the beginning of June, requires a serious reduction of places in all spheres of our presence in Russia," the ministry reported.
According to the publication, several hundred diplomatic positions will be closed, but mostly the sector of cultural intermediaries will be affected, such as teachers at the German school in Moscow and a significant number of employees at the cultural organization "Goethe Institute".
Diplomats of Germany and Russia have repeatedly been expelled from the respective country in times of great tension, DPA notes.
This means that the representation in the country thins out significantly, that is, fewer services are offered for German citizens and the period for preparing documents is extended.
The Kremlin's war in Ukraine has led to a significant worsening of the situation, the agency said.
"Given this unilateral, unfounded and inexplicable decision, the federal government will take care to ensure a minimal presence of intermediaries in Russia while maintaining its diplomatic presence," the ministry was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
This will be possible only if "the number of employees in all areas is reduced, and in some cases drastically reduced". As for the restrictions imposed on the Russian presence in Germany, the government will do everything possible to match those imposed by Moscow, the department added.
In one year, foreign investors withdrew billion from Russia after selling their businesses there
Foreign investors who left Russia after selling their Russian assets in the twelve months to March 2023 pulled some billion out of the country. This was reported by the RIA Novosti agency, citing data from an analysis by the Russian Central Bank (RCB) and quoted by Reuters.
Dozens of the world's largest companies have left or reduced their operations in Russia in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, BTA notes.
Last week, Russia's central bank played down the impact of the exit of foreign companies, saying that around 200 sales deals had been completed in the March 2022-March 2023 period, with only 20 percent of them involving the sale of assets worth more than 100 million dollars.
Meanwhile, the American corporation "TJX Companies" has sold its stake in the Russian retailer "Familia Trading", Kommersant newspaper reported, citing the company's financial statements.
Information about who acquired the shares of the American company is not disclosed, and "TJX Companies" did not respond to a request for comment from the Russian media.
A year ago, the American company announced that it planned to exit its Russian business. Then the company was ready to write off its share in the amount of 218 million dollars.
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