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Ukraine War Updates: Russian Bombers Hit Kyiv, Putin Threatens to Escalate if Pledged Advanced U.S. Rocket Systems Reach Ukraine

Ukraine War Updates: Russian Bombers Hit Kyiv, Putin Threatens to Escalate if Pledged Advanced U.S. Rocket Systems Reach Ukraine

“Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers launched missiles at Kyiv from the Caspian Sea early on Sunday.”

Russian bombers hit the city of Kyiv as the war in Ukraine passed 100 days. “Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers launched missiles at Kyiv from the Caspian Sea early on Sunday and two of the Ukrainian capital’s eastern districts were rocked by explosions,” the TV channel France24 reported, citing official Ukrainian sources.

The Russian airstrike, which struck the city’s railways and other infrastructure, was aiming for the latest shipment of tanks and heavy military equipment coming from the neighboring European countries, the Russian defense ministry claimed Sunday afternoon.

The supposed targeting of Western military shipments comes after last week’s media reports that claimed Poland had delivered more that 200 soviet-era T-72 tanks to the Ukrainian military as part of a defense agreement reached between Germany and other European Union countries.

The Associated Press reported the extent of the Russian strike on the Ukrainian capital:

Russia took aim at Western military supplies for Ukraine with airstrikes in Kyiv on Sunday that it said destroyed tanks donated from abroad, as President Vladimir Putin warned that any Western deliveries of long-range rocket systems to Ukraine would prompt Moscow to hit “objects that we haven’t yet struck.” (…)

Military analysts say Russia is hoping to overrun the embattled eastern Donbas region, where Russia-backed separatists have fought the Ukrainian government for years, before any weapons that might turn the tide arrive. The Pentagon said earlier this week it will take at least three weeks to get the precision U.S. weapons and trained troops onto the battlefield.

Russian forces pounded railway facilities and other infrastructure early Sunday in Kyiv, which had previously seen weeks of eerie calm. Ukraine’s nuclear plant operator, Energoatom, said one cruise missile buzzed the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear plant, about 350 kilometers (220 miles) to the south, on its way to the capital — citing the dangers of such a near miss.

Russian Offensive Rages in the East

Reuters suggested that the latest airstrike on Kyiv is Russia’s attempt to ease pressure on its troops fighting in the east. “Russia struck Ukraine’s capital Kyiv with missiles early on Sunday for the first time in more than a month, while Ukrainian officials said a counter-attack on the main battlefield in the east had retaken half of the city of Sievierodonetsk,” the news agency reported.

The main Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine is centered on the city of Severodonetsk. The city has been surrounded by the Russian troops from at least two sides. “Some of the fiercest fighting is currently in the city of Severodonetsk – one of the few parts of Luhansk region not fully under Russian control. Luhansk is one of two regions which makes up the Donbas,” the BBC reported Sunday.

Russian pincer movements to encircle Severodonetsk and cut off thousands of Ukrainian defenders have so far failed.

In recent days, Russia has been gaining ground in the area, but Ukrainians on Sunday claimed that they had taken back parts of the city. “Ukrainian troops have recaptured a portion of the city of Severodonetsk – a main focus of the Russian offensive and the site of heavy fighting,” the UK’s Sky News reported quoting Ukrainian sources.

Putin Threatens to Escalate if U.S. Rocket Launcher System Reaches Ukraine

Days after President Joe Biden agreed to send advance rocket-launcher system and munitions to Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to escalate the military offensive if the pledged weapons reach the country.

The Russian leader vowed to “strike objects that we haven’t struck before” in response to the possible deliver of U.S.-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine, the European media reported Sunday.

German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported Putin’s latest threat:

Russia will respond to the West delivering long-range missiles to Ukraine, said Russian President Vladimir Putin. His remarks come after the US pledged to supply Kyiv with M142 systems armed with precisions-guided missiles. The range of the missiles, according to media reports, would be between 70 to 80 kilometers (43.5 to 50 miles).

In comments broadcast on Sunday, Putin said the systems were “nothing new” and their range depended on the missiles that the US decided to provide.

“But, if they will be delivered, we will draw appropriate conclusions and use our own weapons, of which we have enough, to strike objects that we haven’t struck before,” Putin told Russia’s state broadcaster.

The White House clarified that Ukraine will not be provided with long-rage munition for HIMARS launchers which could hit deep into the Russian territory. The U.S. multiple launch rocket system has a maximum range of up to 180 miles.

HIMARS equipped with medium-range precision rockets could prove decisive for the Ukrainian forces as they try to push back the Russian advance in the eastern Donbas region, which Moscow has now vowed to capture in its entirely.

Last Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared that the “liberation” of Donbas was an “unconditional priority” for the Russian invading force. The loss of Donbas, with an area of about 6,500 square miles, could deprive Ukraine of its industrial heartland.

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Comments

Imagine if, mistakenly, longer range missiles are sent. Just how “deep” is too deep into Russia? We are about to find out. There are people in prison for 1/6 that have done far less to disrupt the USA than being done by the Biden Admin in Ukraine. Stolen elections do permanent damage.

    n.n in reply to alaskabob. | June 5, 2022 at 1:01 pm

    An American Spring a la Biden/Maidan/Slavic Spring in the World War Spring (WWS) series and Western democracies are the supplier of choice… yeah, that Choice, too.

      alaskabob in reply to n.n. | June 5, 2022 at 1:53 pm

      The Biden Admin is sending a new series of weapons to Ukraine… the Boomerang Series. Many of the weapons sent will return to the US to be used against its citizens.

        MattMusson in reply to alaskabob. | June 5, 2022 at 7:14 pm

        You don’t learn to maintain and launch these missiles after a two day training class.

        US advisors will be accompanying them.

          panamapat in reply to MattMusson. | June 6, 2022 at 9:10 am

          Yes,and willtheir deaths be reported as war casualities? Or, will their deaths even be reported? I really feel very sorry for any serviceman foolish enough to confront the very angry Russians. It will not be pretty.

      Mauiobserver in reply to n.n. | June 5, 2022 at 2:25 pm

      Well you have to give team OBiden credit for consistency. They are repeating their Libya, Syria, Iraq control by Isis, strategy which successfully transformed North Africa, much of the middle east and parts of Europe into total chaos. Much of Syria, Libya and Iraq became medieval tribal hell holes ripe with horrible brutality, slavery, rape and torture. Much of Europe was overrun by hordes of both refugees fleeing the horror and sadly though intentionally, Islamic militants intent on transforming their new countries into replicas of the mess they fled from.

      Team OBiden is well on his way to repeating that success in the Ukraine.

Free State Paul | June 5, 2022 at 4:23 pm

“HIMARS equipped with medium-range precision rockets could prove decisive for the Ukrainian forces as they try to push back the Russian advance in the eastern Donbas region”

No, a few missile systems won’t change a thing. Assuming that a) they make it to the frontline without the Russians blowing them to bits, and b) the Ukrainians figure out how to use/maintain them, they’re still too little to late. NATO is going full Hitler by counting on their Wunderwaffen to turn things around.

Similarly, Poland’s supplying 200 antique tanks sounds to me more like taking advantage of the opportunity to get Uncle Sugar to replace them with 200 newer NATO models.

Ultimately, wars are fought with soldiers, not weapons. Ukraine is fast running out of frontline troops. They’re sending barely trained, middle-aged territorial troops to combat.

Zelensky Regime is toast. Let’s hope we’re not toast, too.

    Putin went full Hitler. The west is just pretending to care.

    stevewhitemd in reply to Free State Paul. | June 5, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    Well, let’s dissect that a bit, shall we?

    Up front: I have no dog in this fight. The only thing I know for sure is that there is nothing in the Ukraine worth the life of a single American.

    How do you know that Ukraine is ‘fast running out of frontline troops’? Ukraine is a country of about 40 million people and had a sizable military. Yes, they may be running short, but how do you know?

    The ~200 T-72 tanks are indeed not front line armored vehicles. But the Russians are using the same tanks on their side. Inventory being what it is for both Russia and Ukraine, a T-72 may be just fine. It depends on how they’re deployed, how they’re led, the skill of the operators (that gets back to ‘front-line troops’ again), and importantly, how they’re maintained. The Russians (according to news that I don’t necessarily trust) have had issues with getting their armor, infantry, and anti-air to work together. We don’t know if Ukraine has similar issues. Perhaps their T-72s will fare better? Or not.

    Finally, the HIMARS artillery may well be important. Again, it’s all about skill, deployment, operations and maintenance. MattMuson, above, gets the obvious point — the Ukrainian artillery personnel may be good but they aren’t going to learn the fine art of HIMARS in a weekend session and Powerpoint. That may well require US ‘advisors’.

    And that gets me back to point #1. There shouldn’t be a single American soldier in the Ukraine.

      Free State Paul in reply to stevewhitemd. | June 5, 2022 at 10:32 pm

      “But to the average Ukrainian it’s really a simple right — the Russians have invaded and are killing their countrymen.”

      There is no “average” Ukrainian. For the ethnic Russians living in the East and South, the Russians are liberators. For 8 years, the Western neo-Nazi Ukrainians have been shelling the Eastern provinces and oppressing them economically, despite promises made in the Minsk 2 agreement.

      Putin has shown huge restraint in the face of repeated lies and broken promises. IMHO he should have invaded right after the Soros-funded Maidan outrage.

        stevewhitemd in reply to Free State Paul. | June 6, 2022 at 8:30 am

        The eastern Ukrainians apparently are having a change of heart due to Putin’s mismanagement and the thugs he has put in charge of the Donbas region. That’s rather what happens when you put totalitarian regimes in charge.

        As to “western neo-Nazi” Urkainians, it appears that you’re buying into the Russian talking points. You truly believe that the western Ukrainians are modern day Nazis?

          panamapat in reply to stevewhitemd. | June 6, 2022 at 9:14 am

          American support for the Ukraine war is melting as fast as ice on a July afternoon. Just remind Americans that the Obiden Junta impeached Trump for the very crimes committed by themselves in Ukraine. This war is a 100% cover-up. Zelenskyy an his mob of Nazi clowns are arrogant and rude because they have the goods on Obiden and Nuland and can demand billions be sent or the evidence will be “leaked.” Ask yourself, are we sending weapons to the wrong side?

      Free State Paul in reply to stevewhitemd. | June 5, 2022 at 10:38 pm

      Rather than debate Ukrainian frontline troop strengths and the merits of US V-Rockets and Polish armored hoopties, why don’t we take Jen Psaki’s advice? Let’s “circle back” August 1st and see who’s winning.

      taurus the judge in reply to stevewhitemd. | June 6, 2022 at 10:15 am

      Yes, let me help you dissect this a bit

      Steve>>:How do you know that Ukraine is ‘fast running out of frontline troops’? Ukraine is a country of about 40 million people and had a sizable military. Yes, they may be running short, but how do you know?

      Depending on whose doctrine you subscribe to a “front line” troop ( to be distinguished from just a warm body waiting to die for his cause that was trained in the “shake and bake” school of human replacement battalions) takes 3-5 years to grow. They die off very quickly and take huge resources to replace. The UK doesn’t have that ability or resource.

      Steve>>:The Russians (according to news that I don’t necessarily trust) have had issues with getting their armor, infantry, and anti-air to work together. We don’t know if Ukraine has similar issues. Perhaps their T-72s will fare better? Or not.

      Contrary to the biased media, 2 things to point out (having been on the other end of a 72)

      1) The Russians sell the T-72 SHELL ( looks like) to others ( just like we do) but they do NOT sell the electronics, ablative armor and other “goodies” that make it lethal along with it. (The infamous “Iraqi SCUD” was nowhere near the Soviet version in the Gulf). Don’t let them fool you with word games.

      2) the 72 is not in a class of the modern tanks such as the Abrams any more than the Sherman ( medium tank) was in the same class as the Tiger ( heavy) but that doesn’t take away its battlefield effectiveness except in a force-on force with heavy armor.

      Take those reports of “issues” with combined ops with a grain of salt. NONE of them have ever worked flawlessly and all have “issues” even when they half way work right.

Retaliation by Putin is rational and logical for any head of a country where foreign weapons are used to attack a country. It’s one thing to fire rockets at targets in Ukraine, but a whole different matter when the attack is directed at Russia. It’s essentially an escalation. Any world leader would logically and rationally react to the escalation. The question is how will the west react when Putin does. Will the west continue to further escalate with a military response? Will Germany, France, and Italy once again act as the cautious partners and restrain any response?

    geronl in reply to Guardian79. | June 5, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    No one has attacked Russia

      MattMusson in reply to geronl. | June 5, 2022 at 7:18 pm

      Let’s hope they don’t.

      Free State Paul in reply to geronl. | June 5, 2022 at 10:17 pm

      How can you say nobody is attacking Russia when the POTUS, SecDef and SecState are all on record as saying our plan in the Ukraine is to destroy Russia’s economy, destroy Russia’s military, and overthrow Russia’s government?

      You are a WEF tool. A Davos-manlet

      alaskabob in reply to geronl. | June 5, 2022 at 10:21 pm

      Ukraine has launched operations in Russia. Limited but in Russia.,

      CommoChief in reply to geronl. | June 6, 2022 at 8:46 am

      If you limit the definition of attack to purely military actions/environment then sure. Leaving out economic and diplomatic actions or environments seems like cherry picking.

      If a factory making widgets is bombed at night and no one is killed but the factory equipment is destroyed and the factory can no longer produce and sell widgets, employees are now unemployed, suppliers of the factory have reduced orders and consequently lay off a portion of their own employees and the other ripple effects throughout the economy that’s certainly
      a bad impact.

      Sanctions which do the same thing have the same impact and minus the destruction of plant and equipment have an equally bad impact. Employees laid off, impacts to suppliers and the same economic consequences. It’s not an attack via military action but it’s an equally an attack via economic means.

    stevewhitemd in reply to Guardian79. | June 5, 2022 at 9:04 pm

    What if the weapons are fired by Ukrainians? They are at war with Russia, you know, and they no doubt feel entitled to use whatever weapons they can get their hands on so as to defend their country.

    We can debate all we like the relative merits of the two governments: the corruption, the contemptible leadership, the lack of human rights, and the economic kleptocracies. But to the average Ukrainian it’s really a simple right — the Russians have invaded and are killing their countrymen.

    And when you’re in that situation, you really don’t ask the fine, nuanced moral questions about whether one ‘should’ use a sophisticated weapon system delivered by a third party that perhaps has its own agenda. Instead you say, “oh cool, this will REALLY kill Russians! Me like!!” And you go use it.

    And if the Russians you kill are on their side of the former border? If you’re a Ukrainian you don’t see that as being a big deal. As a Ukrainian you say, “you guys started this war, and right now as I push the button on this rocket launcher, it sucks to be you.”

    The single difference in this war so far, as best I can tell, is that this has become an existential fight for the Ukrainians, and to date is not such a fight for the Russians. That could change for either, of course, but right now the Ukrainians will use any weapon system, anything from a rock to guided missiles, if it will kill Russians, and they’ll work to kill those Russians that are the biggest threat to them. Wherever they may be.

      Free State Paul in reply to stevewhitemd. | June 5, 2022 at 10:27 pm

      “But to the average Ukrainian it’s really a simple right — the Russians have invaded and are killing their countrymen.”

      There is no “average” Ukrainian. For the ethnic Russians living in the East and South, the Russians are liberators. For 8 years, the Western neo-Nazi Ukrainians have been shelling the Eastern provinces and oppressing them economically, despite promises made in the Minsk 2 agreement.

      Putin has shown huge restraint in the face of repeated lies and broken promises. IMHO he should have invaded right after the Soros-funded Maidan outrage.

    GravityOpera in reply to Guardian79. | June 6, 2022 at 2:58 am

    I think you meant to say that throwing a temper tantrum and making empty threats is the expected response from Putin.

    Conducting military strikes against an invading country is not an escalation. If you manage to not only expel, but counter-attack and take land from the invading country then it is yours to keep.

    Now this situation could be DE-escalated anytime Putin wants, but he shows zero intent to end his invasion and return his troops to Russia.

The Russians are just pure evil at this point

    taurus the judge in reply to geronl. | June 6, 2022 at 10:18 am

    Don’t take this in any way as a support, defense or even a positive commentary regarding Russia but in reality, there may be legitimate reasons for this action being triggered that is being held from the public.

    Russia is a bad guy in every scenario but the Ukraine is nowhere near as innocent as the driven snow either.

    CommoChief in reply to geronl. | June 6, 2022 at 11:10 am

    Be very careful about assuming or attributing motives much less attempting to ascribe labels of ‘good’ or ‘evil’ upon an entire Nation.

    You want to make the case that Putin is evil? No problem I’m happy to listen. You want to make the same case for some 18 year old drafted rifleman? Not so much. Nor for some 90 year old great grandmother of that rifleman.

    Evil why? An invasion that you view as unprovoked and therefore unjustified and immoral that continued into an occupation that resulted in significant destruction of the infrastructure and deaths of a large number of civilians? Ok now apply that same criteria to Iraq.

    Good v Evil is a rigid concept. Attempting to overlay these simplistic notions onto statecraft and warfare whether traditional kinetic variety or economic or other asymmetric variety is a part of statecraft. Be careful you don’t condemn yourself in a rush to judgement.

Such a disaster, no matter the outcome. Ukraine is fighting bravely, but, the entire country is being put through a meat grinder. And, this attack is an indictment of dotard-marionette, Biden’s, utterly feckless, incompetent and weak foreign policy, as manifestly feeble as he himself transparently is. Germany’s naive appeasers, Schroeder and Merkel, also deserve massive criticism for their failed foreign policies.

The fact that Russia invaded Ukraine on both narcissist-incompetent, Obama’s, watch, and, Biden’s (but, pointedly, not on President Trump’s) intrinsically represents an obvious failure of American deterrence. Iran, Russia and China behave (relatively speaking) when they know that the American President currently in power means business. The invasion never would have happened if the White House occupant was an American President who projected strength and seriousness in foreign policy, as Presidents Reagan and Trump did.

Putin is calling the cowards out.
No more Proxy way.
If you are in, you are in, if you are out, you are out.
The decision is yours.

We did so well in Afghanistan, we may as well take on Russia next.

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