Putin warns west he will strike at new targets
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier warned that Moscow will hit new targets if the west supplies Ukraine with long-range missiles.
In an interview with Rossiya-1 state television, and without specifying what those targets were, Putin said:
We will strike at those targets which we have not yet been hitting.”
The Russian president’s comments come after President Joe Biden last week said Washington would supply Ukraine with M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, after he received assurances from Kyiv that it would not be used to target Russia.
Putin said the arms shipments were “nothing new” and “doesn’t change anything in essence” but cautioned that there would be a response if the United States supplied longer-range munitions for the HIMARS systems which have a maximum range of up to 300km (185 miles) or more.
If longer-range missiles are supplied, “we will strike at those targets which we have not yet been hitting,” Putin said.
Putin did not identify the targets Russia would strike, but said the “fuss” around western arms supplies was designed to drag out the conflict.
Zelenskiy visits troops on Ukraine’s eastern frontlines
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited his troops on Ukraine’s eastern frontlines on Sunday to understand the position of Ukrainian defenders as Russia’s assault on Donbas continues.
According to a release from his office, Zelenskiy visited command posts and frontline positions of Ukrainian troops in the area of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region and Lysychansk in the Luhansk region, just a few kilometres south from Sievierodonetsk, where Ukraine claims to be fighting back in one of the war’s biggest ground battles.
The president heard information on the operational situation in these parts of the front, as well as a report on the logistics of Ukrainian defenders,” the statement read.
In two separate videos, Zelenskiy was shown talking to troops in confined, bunker-like structures, presenting some with awards and addressing others.
“What you all deserve is victory – that is the most important thing. But not at any cost,” Zelenskiy said in one of the videos.
Earlier in the day, Zelenskiy visited frontline troops in the southeastern region of Zaporizhzhia.
Oleksandr Starukh, governor of the Zaporizhzhia region told Zelenskiy that some 60% of the region’s territory is under Russian occupation, with more than 2,700 infrastructure objects either damaged or destroyed.
Humanitarian hubs have been set up in the Zaporizhzhia region to shelter residents of the temporarily occupied territories and settlements where hostilities continue.
“Over the last 15 days the largest number of people have come from the Kherson region. They also come from Mariupol,” Starukh said.
Zelenskiy’s office later said the president also visited a medical facility in the region and spoke with people forced to leave their homes, including from Mariupol, which is now in Russian hands after being under siege for weeks.
Summary and welcome
Hello. I’m Samantha Lock back with you on the blog as we continue to cover all the latest news from Ukraine.
- Russian president Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow will hit new targets if the west supplies Ukraine with long-range missiles. “We will strike at those targets which we have not yet been hitting,” Putin told Rossiya state television, without specifying what those targets were. The comments were made in response to a pledge from the US went through with the delivery of Himars rocket artillery that the White House promised last week.
- Britain is to supply long-range rocket artillery to Ukraine, including a handful of tracked M270 multiple launch rocket systems, which can hit targets up to 80km (50 miles) away. UK defence secretary Ben Wallace said the decision to ship the rocket launchers was justified because “as Russia’s tactics change, so must our support to Ukraine”.
- Russia struck Ukraine’s capital Kyiv with missiles early on Sunday for the first time in more than a month. A railway depot was hit in the eastern suburb of Dniprovsky. Five cruise missiles fired from the Caspian Sea were launched from Tu-95 bombers, one of which was intercepted, Ukraine’s air force said, in an attack that represented a change of approach on the part of Russian forces.
- A Russian cruise missile “flew critically low” over the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant, in the south of the country, at about 5.30am on Sunday, apparently heading for Kyiv. Ukraine’s nuclear energy company Energoatom said Russian forces “still do not understand that even the smallest fragment of a missile that can hit a working power unit can cause a nuclear catastrophe and radiation leak”.
- Ukrainian forces have counterattacked and retaken half of the city of Sievierodonetsk in the east of the country, officials said. “It had been a difficult situation, the Russians controlled 70% of the city, but over the past two days they have been pushed back,” Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Gaidai told Ukrainian television. “The city is now, more or less, divided in half.” The Institute for the Study of War, a US thinktank, also said Ukrainian forces were “successfully slowing down Russian operations” in Donbas and were making “effective local counterattacks in Sievierodonetsk”.
- Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited his troops on eastern frontlines in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as well as the south-eastern region of Zaporizhzhia on Sunday. Zelenskiy said he travelled to Lysychansk – just a few kilometres south from Sievierodonetsk – and Soledar, two cities very close to some of the most intense fighting.
- Nato kicked off nearly a two-week US-led naval exercise on the Baltic Sea on Sunday with more than 7,000 sailors, airmen and marines from 16 nations, including Finland and Sweden whom aspire to join the military alliance. “It is important for us, the United States, and the other Nato countries to show solidarity with both Finland and Sweden in this exercise,” US General Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said.
- A Russian general, Maj Gen Roman Kutuzov, was killed in eastern Ukraine, a Russian state media journalist said on Sunday, adding to the string of high-ranking military casualties sustained by Moscow. There was no immediate comment from the Russian defence ministry.
- Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Serbia has been cancelled after countries around Serbia closed their airspace to his aircraft, according to local media reports. A senior foreign ministry source told the Interfax news agency that Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro had closed their airspace to the plane that would have carried Moscow’s top diplomat to Belgrade on Monday. “Our diplomacy has yet to master teleportation,” the source said.
- Spain is to supply Ukraine with anti-aircraft missiles and Leopard battle tanks in a step up of its military support, according to government sources cited by newspaper El Pais. Spain will provide essential training to the Ukrainian military in how to use the tanks, according to the reports.
- A Ukrainian lawmaker, Yevhen Yakovenko, was detained at the Moldovan border at the request of Interpol, Moldova’s border police said on Sunday. Viorel Tentiu, the head of Interpol in Moldova, said in a statement that Yakovenko was put on the list following accusations from Belarus of bribery and corruption.
- Russia’s sanctions against Gazprom Germania and its subsidiaries could cost German taxpayers and gas users an extra €5bn ($5.4bn) a year to pay for replacement gas, the Welt am Sonntag weekly reported, citing industry representatives.