Day 379 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Russia Launched a Massive Missile Attack hitting many Ukrainian CitiesUkraine |Author: Nikola Danailov | March 9, 2023, Thursday // 11:08| views
Day 379 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- The last of the promised Polish Leopard tanks are now in Ukraine
- Transnistria has accused Ukraine of attempting to assassinate the president
- Russia calls attack on Ukraine 'massive retaliatory strike'
- Ukraine reports nearly 10 dead after Russian strikes
- General Zaluzhnyi: Over the past night, Russia fired 81 missiles against Ukraine, the air defense shot down 34
- Russia launched a massive missile attack last night, hitting Kyiv, Odesa and Kharkiv
- Why over 50% of Russian missiles hit targets in Ukraine in the midnight shelling
- Energoatom: Zaporizhzhia NPP is completely shut down, diesel generators have oil for 10 days
- Zelensky: Ukraine will not use Western weapons on Russian territory
- Stoltenberg admits that Russia might capture Bakhmut within days
- The Economist: Ukraine is gathering strength for the upcoming offensive
- Stoltenberg: If Putin wins in Ukraine, China will invade Taiwan
The last of the promised Polish Leopard tanks are now in Ukraine
The last of the promised Polish Leopard tanks are now in Ukraine. Poland has delivered the promised additional 10 Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine, and the Allies will send theirs soon.
"We are talking about a battalion of heavy tanks, which in the case of the Polish share have already been delivered, and in the case of our allies will be delivered to Ukraine very soon," said Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak.
Poland has already sent 4, thus fully fulfilling its promise to deliver 14 tanks to Kyiv. Blaszczak also expressed readiness to open a service center on the territory of Poland to service the tanks.
Transnistria has accused Ukraine of attempting to assassinate the president
Authorities in unrecognized Transnistria have accused services in Ukraine of being behind a planned assassination attempt against "a number of officials" on its territory.
According to Transnistria's Ministry of State Security, a "terrorist act" was being prepared but thwarted, and the Security Service of Ukraine was behind it.
This happened at a time when a car with eight kilograms of explosives had to be blown up when one of the employees passed by, according to local television. The prosecutor's office in Transnistria claims that the attack was planned so that there would be many victims. He was shown and detained and admitted that he worked for the SBU.
According to Russian media, the president of Transnistria, Vadim Krasnoselsky, was targeted, and a suspect has been detained.
These claims, disseminated by RIA Novosti and leading mouthpieces of Russian discourse on the war in Ukraine, come a few weeks after Moscow accused Kyiv of preparing a "provocation" along the border between Transnistria and Ukraine, as Ukrainian troops were massing there.
Ukraine, on the other hand, along with Moldova, warned weeks before that Russia was preparing a provocation in Moldova aimed at destabilization or even overthrowing the government. Transnistria is internationally recognized as part of Moldova, but has been one of Europe's frozen conflicts since 1991, when Russian forces remained there after a ceasefire.
Currently, Transnistria's border with Ukraine is closed due to the war, and trade with it passes through the territory under the control of the central authorities in Moldova.
Russia calls attack on Ukraine 'massive retaliatory strike'
The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that the massive strike on multiple points in Ukraine today was a "retaliatory strike" in response to the "terrorist act" carried out in Ukraine's neighboring Bryansk region.
It refers to the so-called sabotage a week ago, which Moscow blames on Kyiv and which Russian President Vladimir Putin says is a "terrorist act".
At a briefing, Russian Defense Ministry official Igor Konashenkov explained that Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, which were also mentioned by Ukrainian forces, were used and that "key elements" of Ukraine's military and energy infrastructure were targeted.
Last Thursday, Russia explained that a "sabotage group" infiltrated the Bryansk region from Ukraine, and civilians were killed. The Russian Volunteer Corps, which is fighting on the side of Ukraine, claimed responsibility.
However, Kyiv later confirmed it was behind an attack in the Bryansk region that damaged military infrastructure used to launch drones. Previously, the Krasnodar region, located southeast of Ukraine, was known as the main bridgehead for the purpose.
At the same time, according to Russia, the infrastructure for the transport of reserves and for "railway transportation of foreign armaments" was affected, and "resources for the repair of military equipment and the production of ammunition" were disabled.
Ukraine reports nearly 10 dead after Russian strikes
Ukraine reports nearly 10 killed in Russian strikes against the country overnight.
Russia fired missiles and drones at targets across Ukraine, from Kharkiv in the north to Odesa in the south and Zhytomyr in the west. This comes amid ongoing fierce fighting for the town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.
The Ukrainian military announced that they shot down nearly half of the 81 Russian missiles fired from various bases that night.
As a result of the massive missile attack, an energy facility in the port city of Odesa was hit, causing power outages.
"About 15" strikes were carried out in the city of Kharkiv and the region. They targeted "critical infrastructure facilities" and a residential building.
The mayor of Kyiv, Vitaliy Klitschko, said that there were explosions in the southwestern part of the city. Two people were injured. Power outages are reported, and 40 percent of the population is without heating.
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was left without electricity after a Russian strike and is currently operating with diesel generators, the Ukrainian nuclear company Energoatom announced. Russian-appointed authorities in the Moscow-controlled part of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia region called the suspension of electricity supplies to the power plant a provocation.
Strikes were also reported in the western cities of Lutsk and Rivne, which are far from the front lines.
After a drone strike, most of Zhytomyr's residents were left without electricity and water.
President Volodymyr Zelensky described the latest Russian attacks as a new attempt to intimidate Ukrainians. In his words, the Russians are returning to "their miserable tactics". "The occupiers can only terrorize civilians," Zelensky also said.
The Ukrainian army claims to have repelled intense Russian attacks on the eastern city of Bakhmut.
For their part, Russian forces insist they have taken control of its eastern half.
General Zaluzhnyi: Over the past night, Russia fired 81 missiles against Ukraine, the air defense shot down 34
During the most massive missile attack against Ukraine since February 10, the Russian army fired a total of 81 missiles against different bases and 8 drones at targets throughout the Ukrainian territory. This was announced by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi.
Here is the list of missiles Zaluzhnyi says Moscow fired during the 7-hour air alert early Thursday:
- 28 X-101/X-555 air-based cruise missiles;
- 20 Kalibr sea-based cruise missiles;
- 6 X-22 air-launched cruise missiles;
- 6 Kh-47 "Kinzhal" air-launched cruise missiles;
- 8 guided air missiles: 2 — X-31P;
- 6 — X-59;
- 13 S-300 anti-aircraft guided missiles.
In addition, the Russians have sent 8 Shahed-136/131 attack drones against Ukraine.
The forces and assets of the Air Force of the VSU in cooperation with units of other units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine have destroyed 34 Kh-101/Kh-555 and Kalibr cruise missiles out of a total of 48, as well as four unmanned aerial vehicles Shahed-136/ 131. As a result of the organized counterattack, 8 Kh-31P and Kh-59 guided air missiles did not reach their targets.
As a result of the night and morning attack of Russian troops against Ukraine on March 9, it is known that infrastructural and energy facilities were hit, civilians were injured and killed. One of the launched "Kinzhal" missiles hit TPP No. 5 in Kyiv. As a result, 40 percent of the population of the Ukrainian capital is without heating. Not a single missile of any other type reached the capital Kyiv – all were shot down by the Air Defense Forces, reported the head of the Kyiv Military Administration Serhiy Popka. In the residential area of Svyatoshyn, there are two injured people - they were injured by falling fragments of rockets. Parts of downed Russian missiles also damaged cars.
The head of the regional administration of Lviv Maxim Kozitsky reported that in the Zolochev region an enemy rocket fell in a residential area - a fire broke out, which has already been extinguished. Five adults are known to have died so far: three men and two women. They were in their homes when a rocket hit them. Rescuers are still sorting through the debris. There may be other people under them. The fire destroyed three residential buildings, three cars, a garage and several outbuildings.
As a result of an enemy missile strike in the Odesa region, several power lines and transformers were damaged, writes the head of OVA Maxim Marchenko. Hourly emergency power outages are currently in effect. During the night, electricity was cut off in part of the area. The air defense units shot down 6 missiles and one drone in Odesa.
According to information from the Southern Air Force Command, during the night the air defense units destroyed 9 missiles of various types over the area, writes the head of the OVA Vitaly Kim.
The Russians hit the Zhytomyr area with kamikaze drones, hitting one of the energy infrastructure facilities. As a result, almost 150,000 subscribers are currently without electricity, OVA head Vitaly Bunechko noted.
The targets of the rocket attacks in the region were the cities of Dnipro, Pavlograd, Grivoriz and Nikopol. One person died, two were injured. Energy infrastructure and industrial plants have been damaged — there is serious destruction. The relevant services are working on the spot: controlling the fires and liquidating the consequences of the attacks.
The Russians used S-300 anti-aircraft missiles against the area. Critical infrastructure objects were hit, writes the head of OVA Oleh Synyehubov. In Kharkiv, an object of civil infrastructure was damaged. In the village of Slobozhanske, Chuguevski district, a rocket destroyed the greenhouse of the cannery. In the village of Pisochin, an enemy rocket hit the yard of a private house - several residential buildings were damaged. Two elderly women suffered minor injuries: a 71-year-old woman was hospitalized, and a 74-year-old woman was treated at the scene. Another missile in Pisochin hit a marsh near the village.
Russia launched a massive missile attack last night, hitting Kyiv, Odesa and Kharkiv
A series of Russian missile attacks woke Ukraine on Thursday morning. Explosions were registered in Kyiv, where at least 3 rockets fell, as well as in the Western part of Ukraine, as well as in Kharkiv and Odesa. There are at least 15 rocket strikes in the Kharkiv region, world agencies report. Videos of explosions in the capital are circulating on social networks.
The attacks were in an extremely wide perimeter, with the cities of Zhytomyr, Vinnytsia, Rivne hit, and in the west the bombings reached Dnieper and Poltava in Central Ukraine.
KIEV— The_Real_Fly (@The_Real_Fly) March 9, 2023
There were also strikes on the capital Kyiv, the Black Sea port of Odesa and the second-largest city in Ukraine, Kharkiv. Electricity was cut off in several areas, local authorities reported, as quoted by Reuters.
"As a result of a massive rocket attack, an object of the energy infrastructure was hit, there is also damage to residential buildings," the Odesa regional governor pointed out. According to him, the air defense forces have shot down some of the missiles and it is possible that new attacks will follow. "Fortunately, no one was injured. Power supply restrictions have been put in place." - wrote the Regional Governor of Odesa Maxim Marchenko on Telegram.
Speaker of Ukrainian Air Forces Yurii Ignat about last night's Russian attack on Ukraine: "I don’t remember, to be honest, that there was such an attack before." pic.twitter.com/fc2t6pQ43p— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) March 9, 2023
The mayor of Kyiv, Vitaliy Klitschko, also confirmed in Telegram that there were strikes in the capital, Kyiv.
"The enemy made about 15 strikes on the city and the district," he also pointed out on Telegram. "Infrastructure was again among the targets. Casualty information is being clarified." - said the regional governor of Kharkiv Oleh Synyehubov, quoted by BTA. Synyehubov has confirmed 15 strikes on the city. Telegram channel "Rybar" reported that one of the rockets hit TPP No. 5 in Kyiv. 40 percent of the capital's population was left without heating.
During today's massive Russian missile attack on #Ukraine, one of the missiles hit a private house in the #Lviv region. 4 civilians died. Terrorism continues. pic.twitter.com/SXQUCNQ2a5— Inna Sovsun (@InnaSovsun) March 9, 2023
In Odesa, the energy infrastructure has been affected, the power supply has been interrupted. Residential buildings were hit in many places. No casualties were reported.
Reports of explosions also came from the northern city of Chernihiv and the western Lviv region, the Associated Press reported.
Why over 50% of Russian missiles hit targets in Ukraine in the midnight shelling
The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi announced that out of 81 missiles launched by Russia last night, the Ukrainians managed to intercept only 34. The reason - among them there were 28 X-101/555, 20 Kalibr, 6 "X-22" and 6 of the rare "Kinzhal" hypersonic missiles.
Generally, the X-22 and Kinzhal are too fast to be shot down by Ukrainian air defense systems.
A number of Ukrainian regions were hit by Russian strikes in the early hours of today, including the capital Kyiv, the Black Sea port of Odesa and Ukraine's second-largest city Kharkiv.
⚡️A video showing the aftermath of Russia's attack on Kyiv's Sviatoshynskyi District on the morning of March 9.— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 9, 2023
Two people were injured in the attack by fragments of a missile, Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv Oblast military administration, said.
???? Suspilne Media pic.twitter.com/Tk3bwLlIJS
Five people died in Lviv region after a rocket hit a residential area.
Two people were wounded in Kyiv, reported Serhii Popko, the head of the regional military administration. According to him, "almost all types of air weapons" were used against the capital.
Due to the attacks, the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia NPP was disconnected from Ukraine's energy grid.
Footage from aftermath of strike in north western Kyiv. The cars were hit by falling missile debris pic.twitter.com/ECoe9eZRDF— Oliver Carroll (@olliecarroll) March 9, 2023
Power supply has been interrupted in several areas. This was announced by the local authorities, quoted by Reuters and BTA.
Strikes were also reported in the city of Dnipro, in central Ukraine, and in the western cities of Lutsk and Rivne, which are far from the front lines of the year-long war.
Reports of explosions also came from the northern city of Chernihiv and the western Lviv region, the Associated Press reported.
More than 150 Russian missiles struck cities across Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv, the Black Sea port of Odesa and the second city of Kharkiv.#UkraineRussiaWar️ pic.twitter.com/xbPkkSs3ms— Baba Banaras™ (@RealBababanaras) March 9, 2023
The publication "Dzerkalo tyzhnia" reported an explosion in Kyiv, detonations were also heard in the city of Sumy. A drone was spotted over the western Lviv region.
According to the Ukrainian online publication Obozrevatel (Obozrevatel.ua), two people were injured in a rocket attack in Kharkiv near their house.
Energoatom: Zaporizhzhia NPP is completely shut down, diesel generators have oil for 10 days
The last line of communication between the Russian military-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and the Ukrainian power system was shut down at 3:53 a.m. on March 9 as a result of Russian missile fire, said Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom.
"The station is currently without power and is in shutdown mode for the fifth time since the beginning of the occupation. The fifth and sixth power units are turned off, and 18 diesel generators are turned on to meet the energy needs of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant itself. The fuel for the generators will last for 10 days. The countdown has begun," the operator warns.
"If it is not possible to restore the external power supply to the station during these 10 days, a radiation accident may occur, which will have global consequences," warns "Energoatom".
In addition, all Ukrainian nuclear power plants located in territories under Ukrainian control have reduced their output due to the threat of missile fire. As of 6:30 a.m. Thursday, all power units are producing a total of 4,700 MW for the power system.
Due to the occupation of the station and the interference of Rosatom representatives in its work, Ukraine's ability to maintain the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in a safe mode is significantly limited.
"Urgent actions by the entire international community are needed to remove the Russian terrorist groups from the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, and to hand it over to the full control of the competent legal operator - the Ukrainian ‘Energoatom’ - and to restore the conditions for compliance with nuclear, radiation and physical safety of the site," the statement of the Ukrainian operator also says.
Zelensky: Ukraine will not use Western weapons on Russian territory
If Ukraine receives long-range weapons from Western countries, it will not use them to attack Russian territory, President Volodymyr Zelensky told CNN. He noted that Kyiv "is not interested in Russian land", but clarified that it considers all the territory within the 1991 borders to be Ukrainian.
"We have no weapons to respond to the shelling from across the Dnieper. That is why I stress the need for long-range weapons. If we can push the Russians further with these weapons, they will no longer be able to threaten us." , Zelensky said.
According to him, a diplomatic solution to the conflict is possible only if the Russian military leaves Ukrainian territory. "After that, we and our partners will find the appropriate format," added Zelensky. He also again refused to negotiate with Vladimir Putin, explaining that he did not trust him.
Already in June 2022, Zelensky stated that Ukraine does not plan to attack Russian territory. His adviser, Mykhailo Podoliak, also said that Kyiv does not intend to use American missile launchers for salvo fire against Russia. However, Latvia believes that Ukraine should be allowed to attack Russian military sites. The Russian Foreign Ministry has threatened that Russia will take adequate measures if long-range missiles are delivered to Ukraine.
Stoltenberg admits that Russia might capture Bakhmut within days
Russian occupiers may capture the town of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region in the next few days. This was stated by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg today upon his arrival in Stockholm for the meeting of the defense ministers of the EU member states.
According to him, the eventual capture of Bakhmut would not necessarily mean a turning point in the war in Ukraine.
Stoltenberg was adamant that if the city is captured by the enemy, it only emphasizes that "we must not underestimate Russia" and must continue to support the Ukrainian state.
"What Russia lacks in quality, they (the Russians) try to make up for with quantity. They have suffered great losses. But at the same time, we cannot rule out that Bakhmut may eventually fall in the next few days," he stressed.
Earlier today, Ukrainian General Sirsky appeared in Bakhmut for the third time in just one week.
"Zugzwang is a situation in chess where each subsequent move of the player worsens his position. We do our best to put the opponent in this situation," he told the defenders of the fortress city.
The Economist: Ukraine is gathering strength for the upcoming offensive
Ukraine is gathering forces for an upcoming offensive.
This is written in an article of the British magazine The Economist, in which it is stated that in the last three months the Ukrainians received weapons worth more than 8 billion dollars. This amounts to 40% of the military aid pledged by the Pentagon since the beginning of the Russian invasion.
The publication notes that the Ukrainian army is being transformed, and the ratio of its own and Western equipment in the country's armed forces will soon increase to five to two. In 2022 it was five to one.
The Russian offensive, which began in late January, was aimed at forcing Ukraine to use up its new stockpile of weapons. But the fighting for Bakhmut in the Donetsk region led to significant losses among the Russian military, the media noted.
It also recalls that the command of the armed forces of Ukraine sent troops abroad to learn how to operate new weapons systems. The Economist adds that Ukraine will soon receive not only tanks, but also other armored equipment that will play an important role in offensive operations.
At the same time, Western officials are divided on whether the factors listed so far will prove sufficient for Ukraine to push Russia out of the territories it has conquered so far in the war. The Economist points out that the Russian army is in terrible shape and that if it decides to go deeper into the Donetsk region after the capture of Bakhmut, it will lose even more of its "meager reserves".
Over time, Russia may begin to withdraw units from other parts of the front line, creating gaps that Ukraine can take advantage of.
Stoltenberg: If Putin wins in Ukraine, China will invade Taiwan
NATO's secretary general has warned that a Russian victory in Ukraine would set a precedent for China to invade Taiwan amid US claims that Beijing supports Putin's war.
Today, Jens Stoltenberg told Swedish publication "Expressen" that China could be encouraged to resort to seizing Taiwan by force if Putin's invasion succeeds, saying "what is happening in Europe today could happen in Asia tomorrow".
"The outcome of the war in Ukraine affects the conclusions that will be made in Beijing. This includes Taiwan," he said. "If Putin gets what he wants in Ukraine by violating international law and using military force, it will send a message to other authoritarian leaders - including in Beijing - that they can get what they want by using military force."
The warning came as Stoltenberg admitted that the devastated Ukrainian city of Bakhmut was likely to fall into Russian hands in the coming days after months of fierce fighting.
China's authoritarian President Xi Jinping has made it clear that he considers the island of Taiwan part of China under the "One China" doctrine. Taiwan's democratically elected president, Tsai Ing-wen, maintains that the island is a self-governing state whose people overwhelmingly reject unification with mainland China. Xi has so far insisted he wants to pursue a "peaceful reunification process" but has said China reserves the right to use force, while Beijing's navy and air force regularly conduct threatening drills and missile launches in the Taiwan Strait.
Although the circumstances surrounding a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan can be compared to a Russian invasion of Ukraine, the two conflicts would actually be very different, given the close economic and trade ties that Taipei and Beijing share with many Western countries and America's deep military ties to Taiwan.
Stoltenberg's comments only add to strained relations between China and the West, which were further complicated on Tuesday when Beijing accused Washington of fomenting "conflict and confrontation", reported the Daily Mail.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier this week that China was considering plans to provide Russia with weapons and "lethal assistance" in its war with Ukraine. In an immediate response, Beijing's new foreign minister, Qin Gang, told a news conference on Tuesday that there would be "catastrophic consequences" if the United States continued on its current course.
"If the United States does not apply the brakes but continues to move down the wrong path, no guardrails can prevent the derailment, and there will certainly be conflict and confrontation," Qin told reporters.
The foreign minister called the American criticism of China "a reckless game in which the basic interests of the two peoples and even the future of humanity are at stake." He added that it was a "zero-sum game of life and death".
China's support for Russia is mostly rhetorical and political. Beijing helped prevent efforts to condemn Moscow at the United Nations after signing a "limitless" friendship agreement weeks before the invasion began and refusing to openly condemn the war. China is also one of the biggest importers of Russian oil and gas and sees its relationship with Russia as vital to counterbalancing the influence of NATO and Western powers. But there is no public evidence that China is currently supplying Russia with weapons, and the country has consistently called for a peaceful end to hostilities. Beijing called the claim that it was considering providing arms to the Kremlin a "slander" and said there was a lack of evidence.
Today, Stoltenberg admitted that despite Russia's staggering losses on the front line in Ukraine, their continued pressure means the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut in Donetsk is likely to be captured in the near future.
"They have suffered heavy losses, but at the same time we cannot rule out that Bakhmut could eventually fall in the coming days," he said, adding: "It is also important to stress that this does not necessarily reflect any turning point in the war. This only emphasizes that we must not underestimate Russia. We must continue to support Ukraine."
The Russian mercenary group Wagner said it had captured the eastern part of Bakhmut, which before the war was a bustling industrial center with 80,000 residents.
The announcement came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that if Bakhmut falls, Moscow will have an "open path" for offensives into the country.
The intense fighting around Bakhmut is the longest and bloodiest in the more than year-long Russian invasion that has devastated large parts of Ukraine and displaced millions of people.
EU ministers discussed plans to increase the production of defense products and urgently provide ammunition to Ukraine, which uses up thousands of howitzer shells every day.
"Now it's a war of attrition, a battle of logistics," Stoltenberg said. "The current rate of consumption compared to the current rate of munitions production is not sustainable and therefore we need to increase production."
He welcomed the drive by the EU, whose 21 member states are in NATO, to boost production of defense products.
"This is something we are working on. We see that important steps have already been taken," he said. "But we need to do more because we need to ensure that Ukraine gets the ammunition it needs to defend itself against Russia's military aggression, and we need to replenish our own stockpiles."
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