Russia and Ukraine intensify strikes after sinking of Russian warship

Ukraine and Russia exchanged air strikes on Thursday, as Kyiv intensified its efforts to inflict damage on Moscow’s navy and territory.

On Thursday, air strikes were exchanged between Russia and Ukraine, with Moscow hitting several Ukrainian cities and Kyiv targeting the Russian border city of Belgorod, a day after Kyiv announced it had sunk another Russian warship near Crimea.

Russia’s attacks on Kyiv, Lviv and Zaporizhzhia early on Thursday injured at least seven people and damaged infrastructure facilities. Later, Russia reported that a missile attack on Belgorod killed five people and wounded 18, and also damaged seven houses.

Belgorod, which is close to the northeast border of Ukraine, has been a focal point of Russia’s war, as Kyiv tries to make the Russian people feel the impact of their country’s invasion and reduce their support for it.

The previous day, Ukraine’s military intelligence agency said on Telegram that it had damaged Russia’s landing ship Caesar Kunikov with “MAGURA” V5 drones that made “critical holes” on its left side before it sank. Russia has not revealed if there were any casualties in that attack.

In Zaporizhzhia, the city council secretary, Anatolii Kurtiev, said that an infrastructure facility and at least four people were hurt. He also said that “apartment buildings, an educational institution, and the premises of a trade facility were damaged.”

The head of the Lviv regional military administration, Maksym Kozytskyi, said that the city was hit by strikes that injured at least three people and damaged buildings. He said that “a hit to an infrastructure facility in Lviv was documented. The fire continues.” He also said that “in 16 residential buildings on Naukova Street, part of the windows were blown out by the blast wave, cars parked nearby were damaged.”

In Kyiv, the city military administration said that missiles came from different directions but that there were no significant deaths or damage.

Ukraine’s attack on the warship on Wednesday was the latest in a series of attacks on Russia’s navy, as it tries to strike both strategic and symbolic blows against Russian forces that took over Crimea in 2014.

Ukraine said last week that it had disabled about a third of Russia’s warships in the Black Sea, which means 24 disabled ships and one submarine. The landing ship Caesar Kunikov was the 25th disabled ship, according to Ukraine.

Ukraine’s attacks on Belgorod on Thursday were the latest in a series of attacks on the city, which has been involved in Moscow’s conflict.

Ukrainian attacks on Russian regions near the border have been happening almost every day for more than a year, sometimes causing civilian casualties. At the end of last year Russia said Ukraine killed 24 people in shelling on Belgorod.

Kyiv is using drones more and more to compete with Russia. Ukraine’s former top general, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, emphasized the importance of drones in a CNN op-ed written earlier this month, before he was fired last week by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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