By Abimbola Ogunnaike with agency report
Ukraine Government has disclosed that a barrage of missiles by Russian forces has struck targets across the country, according to Ukrainian officials, as the West pledges to pour more arms into the country.
Ukraine’s Military Chief, Valery Zaluzhny confirmed the development in a statement on Thursday, 16 February, 2023, adding that in a two-hour overnight burst, Russian troops had fired a total of 36 missiles of various types, including cruise projectiles.
Zaluzhny said Ukrainian air defense batteries had managed to shoot down 16 of the Russian missiles. That stated number showed a lower rate of success than against some previous Russian waves.
According to him, Ukrainian authorities, targets in the north, west, south, east, and center of the ex-Soviet republic were struck in the new wave of the Russian missile attack.
Ukrainian officials said that among the downed missiles had been eight Russian Kalibr cruise missiles fired from a ship in the Black Sea, adding that other missiles had struck northern and western Ukraine, as well as the central regions of Dnipropetrovsk and Kirovohrad.
The development came as Ukraine’s Western allies pledged even more military aid for an intended Ukrainian spring counteroffensive.
Meanwhile, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak said that Russian forces had “changed their tactics” for the strike, deploying what he described as “active reconnaissance.”
Following a period of battlefield setbacks, Russia, now bolstered by tens of thousands of reservists, has intensified ground attacks across southern and eastern Ukraine in recent weeks.
Much of the intense fighting is taking place around the eastern city of Bakhmut, which is still in Ukrainian hands amid a months-long battle. The capture of the salt mining town in the eastern region of Donetsk would give Russia a fresh foothold in the region.
“The enemy’s offensive continues in the east, (with) round-the-clock attacks,” said Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar, stressing, “The situation is tense.”