© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Smoke rises after a missile attack, as Russia’s assault on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine June 26, 2022. REUTERS/Anna Voitenko
By Tom Balmforth and Max Hunder
KYIV (Reuters) – Russia has ordered its forces in Ukraine to step up operations, the country’s defense ministry said on Saturday, as rockets and missiles hit the country in a series of attacks. the latest shelling which Kyiv says has killed dozens in recent days .
Regional governor Oleh Synehubov said that in the latest air strikes, missiles hit the town of Chuhuiv, Kharkiv region, killing three people, including a 70-year-old woman and injuring three others.
To the south, regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko said more than 50 Russian Grad rockets had landed in the city of Nikopol, on the Dnipro river. Two people were killed, emergency services said.
Ukraine says about 40 people have been killed in such attacks on urban areas in the past three days.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on its website that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had ordered military units to step up operations to prevent attacks on eastern Ukraine and its regions. other territories controlled by Russia.
It said Shoigu “has given the necessary instructions to further strengthen the group’s actions in all areas of operations to eliminate the possibility of the Kyiv regime launching missile and artillery attacks.” into the civilian infrastructure and inhabitants of the settlements in the Donbas and other regions”.
The ministry said Shoigu gave the order after hearing reports at a command center from the generals leading the “Southern” and “Central” command groups of Russian forces operating in Ukraine, as well as the other badge.
It is not clear from the statement, or the silent footage provided, exactly when the meeting took place or whether Shoigu and his commanders were in Ukraine at the time.
Ukrainian missile strikes using Western-supplied systems have destroyed more than 30 Russian military logistics centers in recent weeks and significantly reduced the attack potential of Russia and Ukraine. said on Friday.
WAR OF CONSUMPTION
While the focus of the war, now in its fifth month, has shifted to Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, Russian forces have attacked cities elsewhere in the country with rockets and rockets in the past. an increasingly negative conflict.
Moscow, which launched what it calls a “special military operation” against Ukraine on 24 February saying it aims to eradicate what it calls dangerous nationalists, say they use high-precision weapons to degrade Ukraine’s military infrastructure and protect its own security.
Kyiv and the West see the conflict as a gratuitous attempt to restore a country that had escaped from Moscow rule with the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilian areas, despite ample evidence that its missiles have hit residential areas around the country.
In a recent attack that sparked outrage from Ukraine and its Western allies, a Kalibr cruise missile launched from a Russian submarine in the Black Sea hit an office building in Vinnytsia, a city of 370,000 about 200 km (125 mi) southwest of Kyiv. Thursday.
Kyiv said the attack killed at least 23 people and wounded dozens. Among the dead was Liza, a 4-year-old girl with Down syndrome, found in debris next to a stroller. Pictures of the little girl pushing the same stroller, posted on a blog by her mother less than two hours before the attack, went viral.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the attack on Vinnytsia targeted a building where top officials of the Ukrainian armed forces were meeting with foreign arms suppliers.
Late on Friday, Russian missiles hit the city of Dnipro, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of Nikopol, killing three people and injuring 15, said Reznychenko, governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region including two cities, said on Telegram.
Footage on social media showed thick black smoke rising from buildings and burning cars.
On Saturday, Russia said it had destroyed a missile parts factory in Dnipro.
The fight dominated a meeting of G20 finance ministers in Indonesia. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said differences over the conflict have prevented finance chiefs and central bankers from issuing a formal statement, but they agree on the need to resolve the crisis. The food security crisis is getting worse.
“This is a challenging time because Russia is part of the G20 and disagrees with the rest of us on how to describe the war,” Yellen said.
Western countries have imposed tough sanctions on Russia and accused it of war crimes in Ukraine, which Moscow denies. Other G20 nations, including China, India and South Africa, have been more muted in their response.
In an outbreak of conflict, Ukraine’s blockade restricting grain exports has warned that it could put millions of people in poorer countries at risk of starvation.
Despite the bloodshed, both Russia and Ukraine described progress in reaching an agreement to lift the blockade in recent negotiations. The Turkish mediator said an agreement could be signed next week.