Russia launched a massive missile attack against Ukraine this morning, according to Ukrainian military officials. Commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, Valerii Zaluzhny, said that Russia used a variety of air and sea-based missiles, including X-101, X-555, X-47 “Kinzhal”, “Kalibr”, and X-59 missiles, launched from Tu-95, Su-35, and MiG-31K aircraft and ships from the Black Sea.
Zaluzhny reported that Ukraine’s forces and means of air defense destroyed 47 cruise missiles, 20 of them in the immediate vicinity of the capital. However, three of the four Kh-59 guided air missiles did reach their targets.
The attack comes only a day after Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed gratitude to Ukraine’s allies for their decision to supply battle tanks to the country. However, Zelenskyy had asked NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg for more assistance, including the supply of long-range missiles, artillery, and aircraft.
The U.S. and Germany announced they would be sending 31 Abrams tanks and 14 Leopard 2 tanks respectively. Russia has expressed anger at the decision, calling it “extremely dangerous”. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that the sending of Western tanks to Ukraine was seen as direct involvement in the conflict.
Despite Russia’s objections, Ukraine is now looking to the practicalities of how many tanks it will be receiving and how quickly it will be delivered. Ukraine has also made it clear that it would like to receive fighter jets, such as the U.S.’ F-16 fighter jets, from its allies to help it fight Russia.
It remains to be seen how the international community will respond to the missile attack, and what further help Ukraine will receive from its allies to counter the aggression from Russia. In the meantime, Ukraine will be hoping for a swift and decisive response to deter further aggression.