Russia’s military is ramping up operations in Ukraine after months of grinding conflict which has already left tens of thousands dead or displaced.
The operations were necessary to protect territory in Eastern Ukraine now currently under Russian control, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.
Shoigu “gave the necessary instructions to further increase the actions of groups in all operational areas in order to exclude the possibility of the Kyiv regime launching massive rocket and artillery strikes on civilian infrastructure and residents of settlements in Donbas and other regions,” read a statement posted to the ministry website Saturday.
The ominous posting came amid days of relentless missile attacks by Russia. At least 34 people have been killed over the last three days with air raid sirens blaring nonstop across the country, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The latest casualties took place in the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro, where Russian missiles hit a rocket plant and street, killing three and injuring 15 more, the BBC reported. Two people were killed in the city of Nikopol, just south of Dnipro, while three were killed in the northern city of Kharkiv after Russian rockets hit a house.
“There are no such words in normal human language that can describe the state to which the Russian state has degraded,” Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said in a speech late Friday evening. “We will definitely restore everything they destroyed … But Russian society with so many murderers and executioners will remain crippled for generations, and through its own fault.”
Zelensky also used the remarks to announce a seventh package of sanctions against Russia from the European Union and to thank the United States and President Biden for ongoing financial assistance.
“In the last two weeks, $3 billion were transferred to the Ukrainian budget from the United States of America, and this enables us to ensure the current social needs of Ukrainians today. America is truly a leader in the global defense of freedom,” Zelensky said.
Meanwhile, the Russians are looking to buy weapons-capable drones from Iran, according to a report.
A delegation from Russia visited an Iranian airfield twice recently where Iran has been showing off its Shahed-191 and Shahed-129 drones, said CNN.
The drones are able to carry precision-guided missiles.
“We have information that the Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia with several hundred UAVs, including weapons-capable UAVs,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told the network in a statement.
With Post Wires