Ukraine accuses Russia of sending cruise missiles over Moldovan and Romanian airspace; missile attacks strike critical infrastructure in Ukraine again
Ukraine has accused Russia of firing two missiles that crossed into Moldovan and Romanian airspace before entering Ukraine. Romania is a Nato member.
General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the commander in chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, said two Kalibr rockets crossed into Moldova at 10.18am and then flew into Romania at 10.33am at the intersection of the state border. They then continued into western Ukraine, he said.
The defence ministry of Moldova has confirmed that a missile crossed its airspace. In a statement it said: “At 10.18am a missile crossed the airspace of the Republic of Moldova, over the town of Mocra in the Transnistrian region and, later, over the town of Cosauți in the Soroca district, heading towards Ukraine. The Ministry of Defence, with the responsible authorities in the country, carefully monitors the situation in the region, and strongly condemns the violation of the airspace of the Republic of Moldova”.
Romania’s defence ministry initially said it could not confirm the reports, but a further statement said surveillance systems detected what looked like a cruise missile launched from a Russian ship near Crimea, but that it did not cross into Romanian airspace. Romania said “The closest the target trajectory got to Romania’s airspace was recorded by the radar at roughly 35 kms northeast of the border.”
Yuri Ignat, spokesman for Ukraine’s air force, said Kyiv had the opportunity to shoot down the Russian rockets over Romania and Moldova but did not do so. “The military understood the risks and threats to the population of a foreign state, so they did not do it right away,” Ignat said.
Moldova’s pro-western government has resigned after 18 months in power after a series of economic and political crises that have engulfed the country in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The prime minister, Natalia Gavrilita, told a news conference on Friday that the “time has come for me to announce my resignation”, adding that no one could have expected her government “to manage so many crises caused by Russian aggression”.
Ukraine said Russia launched “massive” missile and drone attacks on Friday, a day after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited some European countries to push for long-range weapons. On Friday morning, “the enemy struck cities and critical infrastructure facilities,” the air force said, adding that seven Iranian-made “kamikaze” drones were launched from the Sea of Azov and six Kalibr cruise missiles from the Black Sea.
Russia also carried out a “massive” attack with “up to 35 anti-aircraft guided missiles” targeting the Kharkiv region in the east and the southern Zaporizhzhia region, it said. In Kharkiv, “critical and infrastructure facilities were targeted” resulting in fires that were “quickly” put out, governor Oleg Sinegubov said. He said nobody was injured but some parts of the city were without power. “Energy and industrial infrastructure” suffered damaged in Zaporizhzhia, leaving sections of the city without electricity, local official Anatoly Kurtev said.
Ukraine has officially asked the c for F-16 fighter jets, its air force has said.
Italy’s prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, has dismissed criticism over her decision to continue sending arms to Ukraine, saying those who supported Kyiv were working for peace.
Switzerland said on Friday it has rejected a request from Madrid to allow Spain to re-export Swiss-made anti-aircraft guns to Ukraine. Spain made the request in January to allow it to send two 35mm anti-aircraft guns to Ukraine. Switzerland has previously vetoed requests from Denmark and Germany who wanted to send Swiss-made armoured vehicles and ammunition. Switzerland’s War Materials Act does not allow the export of war materials if the destination country is involved in an internal or international armed conflict.
Russia on Thursday launched a major offensive in eastern Ukraine and is trying to break through defences near the town of Kreminna, the governor for the Luhansk region has said. Serhiy Haidai told Ukrainian TV on Thursday that Russian troops had gone on the attack and were trying to advance westwards across a winter landscape of snow and forests. There had been “maximum escalation” and a big increase in shooting and shelling, he said. “So far they haven’t had any success. Our defenders have been able to hold them back completely.” The Institute for the Study of War confirmed a “marked increase” in operations in the area over the past week in its latest report.
A series of Russian drone and missile attacks struck targets in the south and east of Ukraine on Thursday, according to officials and local residents who reported hearing loud explosions. Air raid sirens sounded in much of the country late on Thursday night. Serhiy Lysak, the military administrator in the Dnipropetrovsk region, said Shahed drones were detected on their way to the area.
Zelenskiy urged European leaders to speed up weapons delivery and open EU membership talks with Ukraine this year, in a highly symbolic visit to Brussels on Thursday, in which he said Russia was trying to annihilate “the Ukrainian-European way of life”. Zelenskiy addressed the European parliament on Thursday morning, proclaiming Ukraine “will join the European Union” and thanking the bloc’s members for their support during Russia’s invasion.
Zelenskiy claimed that several European Union leaders said they were ready to provide Kyiv with aircraft, but gave no further details about the pledges. There was no immediate confirmation from any European countries.
“Europe will be with us until our victory. I’ve heard it from a number of European leaders … about the readiness to give us the necessary weapons and support, including the aircraft,” he told a news conference on Thursday. “I have a number of bilaterals now, we are going to raise the issue of the fighter jets and other aircraft.”
source: the guardian