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Washington will favor Ukraine in terms of air defense after a “massive” Russian strike

The United States will now give priority to Ukraine in the delivery of missiles intended for anti-aircraft defense, this country suffering from "massive" Russian strikes. on its energy installations which cause electricity shortages increasing.

Faced with this situation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Thursday to install solar panels and energy storage units “in every school and in every hospital, as soon as possible.” “Regional military administrations have been tasked with overseeing these measures at the local level,” he added.

The night before, a power plant and other infrastructure had been damaged by a major Russian attack which left seven of their employees injured, according to Ukrainian authorities.

This was the seventh “massive” attack against such sites in three months, lamented the operator DTEK, which forced the imposition of frequent power cuts.

– Priority to Ukraine –

In this context, Washington “made the difficult but necessary decision” to now give priority to Ukraine over other allies in the supply of missiles used for anti-aircraft defense.

Washington will favor Ukraine in terms of air defense after a “massive” Russian strike

Photo released by the Ukrainian National Police on May 10, 2024 shows firefighters putting out a fire in a house after a bombing in Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine © National Police of Ukraine – Handout

As a result, exports to other countries of Patriot and NASAMS missiles in particular will be “delayed”, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby explained on Thursday, saying that this decision ” would not affect Taiwan”.

This official specified that this priority given to the reconstitution of Ukraine's stocks would be in force for sixteen months and that then the postponed deliveries would resume to other countries.

A few hours earlier, Romania had promised Kiev a Patriot system.

“I am deeply grateful” to American President Joe Biden, reacted Volodymyr Zelensky, who also thanked Bucharest, repeating that “we need (these weapons) so much to respond to Russian attacks”.

At the same time, Russian head of state Vladimir Putin, visiting Vietnam, warned that the direct shipment of arms by South Korea to Ukraine would be a “very serious error”, threatening Seoul with retaliatory measures in the event of a decision in this direction and confiding “not to rule out” the possibility of sending weapons to North Korea.

– Sites targeted in Ukraine –

“The Russians attacked one of DTEK's thermal power plants,” said Thursday in a press release this company, adding that three of its employees had been injured by these night strikes which caused “serious damage”.

The Energy Ministry said that “a number” of energy installations had been targeted in four regions, including Kiev.

Washington will favor Ukraine in terms of air defense after a “massive” Russian strike

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

In total, “seven employees were injured”, one of whom is in serious condition, he continued, referring to “destroyed” equipment, without giving further details.

A technician was also injured when his team, which was working on a power line in the eastern region of Donetsk, found itself “under Russian fire”, added this same source.

The Russian Defense Ministry on Thursday claimed responsibility for a “grouped strike” against Ukrainian energy infrastructure, assuring that “all” targets had been hit and that it was a “response” to the bombings of similar Russian sites.

Russia, by increasing this type of operations, has destroyed half of Ukraine's energy capacity, has said Mr. Zelensky.

DTEK Director General Maxim Timchenko warned of the risk that Ukraine would “face a serious crisis this winter” if its Western partners did not mobilize to help it rebuild its electricity network, a project which requires significant investments.

– Strikes in Russia too –

In Russia, several deposits of oil were for their part the target of Ukrainian drones during the night from Wednesday to Thursday, as well as the town of Slaviansk-sur-Kuban, in the Krasnodar region (southwest), where a woman lost her life, 'according to the regional governor, Veniamin Kondratiev.

A fire broke out in an oil refinery in the republic of Adygea (southwest) “as a result of a drone attack”, announced Governor Mourat Koumpilov.

A tank also caught fire Thursday morning at a major oil refinery in Platonovka, in the region of Tambov (center), “probably” because of a drone, acknowledged Governor Maxim Egorov.

The Ukrainian security services (SBU) are behind the attacks against the two refineries, a source within the SBU told AFP.

These facilities “processed and stored raw materials and finished products which were then used by the Russian army”, according to this source, who predicted more attacks of this type in the future.

Russia continues to bomb the regions close to the front line, in the south and east of Ukraine, causing several deaths and injuries, particularly in the Donetsk region, where the fighting is very intense.

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