By Svitlana Morosest
Mar 9, 2023
It has long been suspected that Russia was going to mount a renewed military offensive in Ukraine as spring approached. This fear was realised overnight. From midnight to 7.a.m., Ukraine suffered one of the worst barrages of Russian bombing this year: Some 81 missiles were fired at residential buildings and critical infrastructure from air, land and sea, including several hypersonic Kinzhal missiles. Some 34 missiles were intercepted in total, Ukrainian authorities said. Ukraine was not able to down many, as it does not yet have the Patriot system that can intercept them. The commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, General Valeriy Zaluzhny, said eight Iranian-made drones were also launched; four were intercepted. The BBC reported that at least nine civilians have been killed.
The strikes hit ten of Ukraine’s 27 regions, according to Volodymyr Zelensky. ‘It’s been a difficult night,’ the Ukrainian President said on Telegram this morning. ‘A massive rocket attack across the country…. Unfortunately, there are injured and dead.’
Meanwhile, the mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, told German newspaper Bild that the barrage had been one of the longest of the war, but that the capital’s air defences had intercepted all of the missiles fired on the city, bar one.
Kharkiv, which has increasingly been targeted by Russia, was shelled. Around 15 strikes were fired on the region’s infrastructure this morning. Taking Kharkiv has always been one of Vladimir Putin’s most desired goals, after he was defeated there last year. The city has always played the role of a significant supply chain for Ukrainian soldiers fighting in Donbas.
The bombing does not appear to have delivered a knockout blow to Ukraine’s power supply any more than previous bombardments – around 40 per cent of residents in Kyiv have been left without heating. What is particularly worrying, however, is that it has damaged the electricity supply to several nuclear power stations, two of which are under Russian control – although all have back-up, diesel-powered generators.
One of the nuclear plants impacted is Europe’s largest, located in Zaporizhzhia: a blackout mode has now been implemented for the sixth time during its occupation by Russian forces. The head of the UN nuclear watchdog issued an urgent warning this morning about the plant’s safety. ‘How can this be allowed to happen… One day our luck will run out.’ Some 18 diesel generators have been turned on to cover the plant’s power needs. However, they only have enough fuel for ten days’ operation. The energy company Energoatom shared the IAEA’s warning. ‘If it is impossible to resume external power supply to the plant, an accident may occur here within this time with radiation consequences for the entire world,’ a spokesman for the company said.
This is not the first time that Russia has fired hypersonic missiles on Ukraine. Several were fired at targets in the south of the country last March. Their main advantages over other missile systems is their speed, and the difficulty in detecting them: they travel at between five to ten times the speed of sound, and create a plasma cloud which absorbs the radio waves which might otherwise give them away. They can also escape detection by flying on an especially low trajectory. It is possible that Vladimir Putin not only used them during this offensive to gain an advantage in Ukraine, but also to send a reminder to the West of Russia’s capabilities, as his forces continue to fight for the besieged eastern city of Bakhmut.
The main rationale, however, for Putin’s latest attack is to put psychological pressure on the Ukrainians to give up. Shelling the power plants makes little sense, considering that winter is over.
Here is how the mass circulation Mail Online reported this terrible story:
It is swarming with gloating kremtrolls. They deserve to be murdered in their beds like the victims of putler.
Also: “Putin ‘is hell-bent on subjugating all of Eastern Europe behind a new Iron Curtain – including Poland and East Germany.” :-
Just had contact with Joe. He said he wants Putin dead. I think we all here share his desire more than ever.
The stinking shit nugget died a thousand deaths in my imagination.
I wish we had a courageous POTUS, who would give the order to carpet bomb mafia cities. Level them to the ground.