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Russia explains target selection in new strikes on Ukraine

The Russian military has conducted another wave of strikes on Ukrainian military facilities; Moscow recently accused Kiev of staging “terrorist attacks” on Donetsk and Belgorod and promised retaliation.

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In a statement on Tuesday, the ministry said that Russia’s armed forces had “carried out a group strike with long-range precision weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles on enterprises of the military-industrial complex of Ukraine.”

Russian officials stated that the barrage particularly targeted facilities in Kiev and its suburbs that produced missiles and drones, as well as those that repaired weaponry and other military equipment. Other strikes were aimed at missile depots, ammunition and aircraft weaponry supplied to Kiev by Western countries, the ministry said.

“The mission of the strike has been achieved. All targets have been hit,” the officials concluded.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian officials and media reported a barrage of missile strikes on Kiev and Kharkov, a city not far from the Russian border, claiming there were numerous casualties. Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said that the strikes had left many residential buildings and facilities in the capital without power, adding that at least two warehouses storing unspecified items had caught fire.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has said that a total of four people died in the strikes and that another 92 were wounded. Last week, Vassily Nebenzia, Moscow’s envoy to the UN, said that Kiev often deploys its air defense systems in residential districts in violation of international law, resulting in casualties among civilians.

The new missile and drone strikes come after Ukraine launched an attack on the Russian border city of Belgorod last week, killing 25 people, including several children; more than 100 were injured. In the early hours of January 1, Kiev also shelled Donetsk, a frequent target of the Ukrainian military since 2014, killing four people and injuring 13.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed that those “terrorist attacks” would not go unanswered, promising to ramp up strikes on Ukrainian military facilities. He stressed, however, that Moscow had no intention of targeting civilians.

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