new Russian bombing, Kyiv claims to control Soledar
Russia fired missiles on Saturday against key infrastructure in Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine, according to Ukrainian officials who also claim to retain control of the (eastern) city of Soledar, which Moscow claims has taken after heavy fighting.
“Today, the enemy again opened fire on energy installations,” said the operator Ukrenergo, adding that it was trying to “eliminate the consequences” of the attack.
Several explosions were heard in the early morning in Kyiv, AFP journalists found, with Ukrainian officials saying the strikes had targeted key infrastructure in the capital.
“Missile attacks on critical infrastructure” are underway in Kyiv, Ukraine’s presidential adviser Kyrylo Tymoshenko said on Telegram while the city’s mayor Vitali Klitschko reported an explosion in the Dniprovskiy district, calling on residents to “stay in shelters”.
The city government also reported shelling at an installation, “without major damage or fire”. According to him, a fire broke out in a warehouse after the fall of shrapnel in the Golosiivsky district. According to Mr. Klitschko was not injured.
In the Kharkiv region (northeast), “the enemy has launched a new missile strike against critical infrastructure,” said Governor Oleg Synegibov. An emergency power outage could occur in this city, the second in Ukraine, he added.
Attacks have also been reported further south, in the Zaporizhia region.
– “The battle continues” in Soledar –
“The enemy is attacking the territory of Ukraine again,” also said the head of the Cherkassy region (center), Igor Taburets, adding a large-scale warning at midday.
Since October and a series of setbacks in Ukraine, Moscow has methodically bombarded the country’s vital infrastructure, forcing power companies to restore the grid as quickly as possible as the winter season gets harsher.
On the front, the small town of Soledar, in eastern Ukraine, amid heavy fighting and which Moscow claims has taken, is still “under Ukrainian control”, assured the governor of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kyrylenko, Saturday.
“Soledar is under the control of the Ukrainian authorities, our troops are in control of it,” he said, adding “the fighting continues inside the city and outside”.
This area and the nearby town of Bakhmout currently remain the “hottest” points of the conflict, he said on television.
Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Defense said on Friday that the “liberation” of the city took place “on the evening of January 12”.
The Russian army praised the “courageous act” of fighters of the Wagner mercenary group, whose men led a “direct attack on the residential area of Soledar”.
– “More machines” –
“This is a difficult phase of the war,” Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Maliar said on Friday, acknowledging the “high-intensity (Russian) attack”.
The fighting in and around Soledar has been raging for several months, but has increased in intensity in recent days.
Its capture by Moscow troops will be a significant victory for Russia, after a series of failures on the ground by its forces in recent months.
To confront the Russian army, Kyiv on Friday again asked its Western allies to provide more high-performance weapons and military equipment, such as heavy tanks and long-range missiles.
“To win this war, we need more military equipment, heavy equipment,” insisted Andriï Iermak, Ukraine’s chief of staff, on Telegram.
The UN Security Council for its part met again to discuss the situation in Ukraine on Friday, nearly eleven months after the start of the Russian invasion.
“Ukraine, Russia, the world cannot allow this war to continue,” said UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, deploring to see “no sign of an end to the fighting”.