Yesterday, Russia launched dozens of air strikes into Ukraine, with Putin later telling his security council that the strikes came as retaliation for Ukraine bombing the Kersch Bridge in annexed Crimea, which Ukraine has denied involvement in.
The strikes hit cities across the country, including Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhya, Ternopil, and Zhytomyr. Ukraine National Police said that this round of strikes killed 14 people and injured 97. According to Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Emine Dzhaparova, 45 out of 83 Russian missiles were intercepted by Ukrainian forces, including 9 suicide drones.
Along with the loss of human life, Russia targeted energy stations in these strikes, causing blackouts across the country, and destabilizing hospitals’ electric grids. “They want panic and chaos, they want to destroy our energy system,” said President Zelenskyy. “The second target is people. Such a time and such targets were specially chosen to cause as much damage as possible.”
SARFAN community, we knew Putin would use annexed territories to justify harsh attacks on Ukraine’s people and infrastructure. By stating that regions like Crimea, Donbas, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya are now a part of Russia, they can “retaliate” against any Ukrainian military activity in these regions.
“In the event of further attempts to carry out terrorist acts on our territory, Russia’s response will be harsh,” said Putin. “The responses will be of the same scale as the threats to Russia.”
In this line of thinking, one collapsed bridge is worth 14 Ukrainian lives, though we know by the scale of the air assault that Putin would have liked this number to be higher. Moscow’s invasion has always been overly harsh and has far surpassed any warrant for this brutality.
In another show of brute force, Russian forces have allegedly captured the Deputy Director of Zaporizhzhya’s nuclear power plant, according to Ukraine’s state nuclear energy company Energoatom. Combining their targets of energy and civilians, Russian forces have found a way to attack both by kidnapping Valeriy Martynyuk and holding him in an unknown location.
Russia has had control of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, but the plant is still operated by Ukrainian staff. Energoatom called upon the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s chief, Rafael Grossi, to take “all possible measures” to help free Martynyuk. Grossi, who has previously urged Russia to leave ZNPP due to the potential for nuclear disaster, is set to meet with Putin this week. Here at SARFAN, we will continue to follow this situation closely. Stay safe and stay informed.