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Massive Russian strikes in Ukraine, Russia admits to being in “state of war”

Ukraine suffered massive nighttime strikes on Friday which left at least five people dead and led to more attacks. power cuts of magnitude, while the Kremlin recognized that Russia was at "war" after two years of euphemisms.

Eight Russian missiles notably hit Ukraine's largest hydroelectric power station located on the Dnieper, the long river that crosses Ukraine, causing “very significant” damage but without risk of rupture of the dam in immediately, according to the Ukrainian prosecutor's office.

These attacks particularly targeted the Ukrainian energy network, leaving a total of 1.5 million people without electricity, according to the mission monitoring in Ukraine of the United Nations.

The Russian army claimed to have acted in retaliation for recent military operations by Kiev against the regions located on the border with Ukraine, which were themselves responses to the daily bombing of Ukrainian cities.

At least five people were killed and around thirty others injured, according to local and national authorities, in the regions of Zaporizhia (south) and Khmelnytsky (west).

In Moscow, the spokesperson for the Russian presidency, Dmitry Peskov, admitted for the first time publicly that Russia was “in a state of war”.

Massive Russian strikes in Ukraine, Russia admits to being in “state of war”

Ukraine: positions of military forces © AFP – Valentin RAKOVSKY, Sophie RAMIS, Cléa PECULIER

Since the start of the invasion, in February 2022, the Kremlin has repressed with fines and prison sentences the use of the word “war” to impose the euphemism of “operation special military”.

Russian officials have sometimes used this term but to evoke the conflict that they accuse the West of leading against Russia through the intermediary of 'Ukraine.

“It started as a special military operation, but as soon as… the collective West participated in all this alongside Ukraine, for us it became a war,” Peskov said in an interview with the media “Argoumenty I Fakty”.

– Power outages –

Russian forces launched more than 60 Iranian-made Shahed explosive drones and almost 90 missiles of different types into Ukraine overnight, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

Massive Russian strikes in Ukraine, Russia admits to being in “state of war”

Shards of glass are removed from a broken window in a residential building in Belgorod, Russia after air attacks on March 22, 2024 © AFP – STRINGER

He stressed that the targets of this attack had been “power plants, high voltage lines, a hydroelectric dam, residences and even a trolleybus”.

According to Ioury Beloussov, an official with the Ukrainian prosecutor's office, 136 energy installations were targeted, including DniproHES, the largest hydroelectric power station in Ukraine, which was taken out of service.

“The damage is very significant,” he said on television, noting that the site is “extremely important for Ukraine.” However, there is no risk for the population, he added.

These large-scale strikes led to power cuts in at least seven Ukrainian regions and damaged “dozens” of other installations, noted the Ukrainian operator Ukrenergo.

The second largest city in Ukraine, Kharkiv, which before -war nearly a million and a half inhabitants, are deprived of electricity and heating because the bombings have “severely damaged” the energy infrastructure, lamented its mayor Igor Terekhov. He considered it the “most powerful” attack against this city since the start of the war.

Massive Russian strikes in Ukraine, Russia admits to being in “state of war”

Ukrainian police officers inspect a site hit by a missile, in Zaporizhia, Ukraine on March 22, 2024 © National Police of Ukraine – –

One of the two power lines supplying the Ukrainian Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, in the hands of Russian forces, was cut by a bombing, before being restored.

< p>The United States denounced “brutal” Russian attacks that demonstrate the need to support Ukraine, while Congress continues to block $60 billion in aid.

Paris condemned them “with the greatest firmness”.

– One dead in Belgorod –

The Russian army claimed to have reached “energy and military-industrial infrastructures, railway junctions, arsenals”, in response to recent Ukrainian bombings on Russian territory.

< p>Another person was killed and several others injured on Friday morning in a strike on the Russian border region of Belgorod.

Russia had already launched a strike on Thursday dawn a massive attack on Kiev, the first since early February against the capital.

The commander of the Ukrainian land forces also judged on Friday “possible” a Russian summer offensive which would involve 100,000 men, while insisting on the fact that these were the “gloomiest forecasts” and that this contingent could also be intended to compensate for human losses.

The Russian army has claimed in recent months the conquest of villages in the face of Ukrainian soldiers lacking ammunition, but the front has largely been frozen since more than a year, neither side achieving a real breakthrough.

Massive Russian strikes in Ukraine, Russia admits to being in “state of war”

Damage in Belgorod, Russia, after an air attack on March 22, 2024 © AFP – STRINGER

Mr. Zelensky, for his part, was once again annoyed by the slowness of Western assistance, American aid having been blocked for months due to political rivalries between Republicans and Democrats and that of the European Union having fallen significantly behind schedule.

“Russian missiles are not late, unlike aid packages to our country. The Shaheds are not indecisive, unlike some” political leaders, he quipped.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116