Ukraine airstrikes target Russian regions in recent escalation

Ukraine airstrikes

In response to the current escalation of hostilities between the two countries, Ukraine has begun airstrikes on regions in Russia and occupied east Ukraine.

As the latest in a string of deadly tit-for-tat assaults that started last week and have killed dozens of civilians, Russian officials said on Wednesday that Ukrainian missiles targeted Belgorod and Kursk in southern Russia as well as the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed in 2014.

The overnight assault came a day after Russia struck Ukraine’s two largest cities, Kyiv and Kharkiv, with several dozen missiles and drones, killing five.

Russia’s Ministry of Defence reported on Telegram that it had destroyed 12 Ukrainian missiles – six Tochka-U ballistic missiles and six guided missiles – over the Belgorod region. A Ukrainian attack the previous day had killed one person, said regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov. No casualties were reported from the latest attack, but the situation, he said, “continues to be tense”.

Ukraine also hit the Kursk region, to the north of Belgorod, damaging infrastructure and causing power cuts, regional Governor Roman Starovoyt posted on Telegram. And, in occupied Crimea, the Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhaev, reported that a Ukrainian missile had been downed overnight.

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Ukraine rarely comments on its attacks on Russian soil. During the war, it has sporadically targeted border villages, launching missiles from an area blanketed by thick forests.

As details on the Ukrainian strikes emerged, Yuriy Malashko, the head of Ukraine’s regional military administration, reported that the Zaporizhia region had been hit by 134 Russian strikes over the past 24 hours, killing two people.

In the midst of the new round of attacks, Ukraine has been lobbying for a resurgence of Western support, which has appeared to be decreasing in recent months.