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Russian drones hit Kyiv, Putin in Belarus amid fears of ally becoming a member of offensive below stress

KYIV: Russia hit key infrastructure in and round Kyiv in a “kamikaze” drone assault on Monday, hours earlier than President Putin arrived in Belarus, fuelling fears he’ll stress his ally to affix a brand new offensive on Ukraine.
The Ukrainian air power stated its air defences shot down 30 drones in what was the third Russian air strike on Kyiv in six days and the newest in a collection of assaults since October focusing on the power grid, inflicting sweeping blackouts amid sub-zero temperatures. Officers stated not less than three individuals have been injured and 9 buildings broken within the Kyiv area. The Ukrainian atomic power company accused Russia of sending one of many drones over a part of the South Ukraine Nuclear Energy Plant within the Mykolaiv area. “That is a completely unacceptable violation of nuclear and radiation security,” Energoatom wrote on Telegram.
The “kamikaze” drones used within the assaults are cheaply produced, disposable unmanned plane that fly in direction of their goal earlier than plummeting at pace and detonating on affect. A Reuters witness stated that through the evening a fireplace raged at an power facility within the often-targeted Shevchenkivskyi district of central Kyiv. The Solomianskyi district within the western a part of Kyiv, a transport hub and residential to a prepare station and one of many metropolis’s two passenger airports, was additionally hit. Kyiv officers stated 18 out of 23 drones have been shot down over town of three.6 million individuals.
In the meantime, to the northwest of Ukraine, there was fixed Russian and Belarusian army exercise for months in Belarus, a detailed Kremlin ally that Moscow’s troops used as a launch pad for his or her abortive assault on Kyiv in February. Putin’s journey, for talks with Belarusian chief Alexander Lukashenko, was his first to Minsk since 2019. “Throughout (these talks) questions shall be labored out for additional aggression towards Ukraine and the broader involvement of the Belarusian armed forces within the operation towards Ukraine, particularly, in our opinion, additionally on the bottom,” Ukrainian joint forces commander Serhiy Nayev stated earlier than Putin’s arrival. Lukashenko has stated repeatedly he has no intention of sending troops into Ukraine. The Kremlin too dismissed the suggestion that Putin wished to push Belarus right into a extra energetic position within the battle. Russian troops that moved to Belarus in October will conduct battalion tactical workout routines, Russia’s Interfax information company reported, citing the defence ministry.
Ukrainian President Zelensky stated the forces have been holding agency within the city of Bakhmut – scene of the fiercest combating for a lot of weeks. On Monday, Zelensky appealed to Western leaders assembly in Latvia to produce a variety of weapons. He additionally stated in his handle by videolink that the drones utilized in Monday’s strikes have been a part of a brand new batch of round 250 acquired by Russia from Iran.

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