Here's what having zero air defense looks like?
As I mentioned last week, the leaked Pentagon documents confirm that by late May, Ukraine will have essentially zero air defense capability. Ergo, Russians can fly fixed-wing aircraft to bomb without fear of retribution, along with other artillery, drones and missiles. Imagine what life in major cities is going to look like; basically like the photo below.
Meanwhile, Biden refuses to admit Ukraine is losing and refuses to support a cease-fire to enter into peace negotiations. Absolute insanity.
Russian Rockets Batter Residential Area in Southern Ukraine
Moscow’s forces also press assault on eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut
By Matthew Luxmoore and Thomas Grove, WSJ
Updated April 27, 2023 10:17 am ET
A Russian rocket barrage left at least one person dead and almost two dozen injured in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv after months of relative calm there, as Russian forces continued to push to capture the city of Bakhmut in the east.
Rescue workers on Thursday were battling blazes and sifting through the ruins of residential blocks in Mykolaiv after four Russian Kalibr rockets struck a high-rise apartment building and a private home in the city, authorities said.
“The terrorists will not get away with this yet another crime against humanity,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said about the strikes in a message posted to his Telegram channel. “We will find all the culprits. There will be accountability for everything.”
The strikes were the first major attack since December on Mykolaiv, a city in south Ukraine with a prewar population of almost half a million people. In a major offensive last fall, Ukraine pushed Russian forces out of the entire area north of the Dnipro River in the neighboring Kherson region, capturing the regional capital and leaving Mykolaiv far outside artillery range for Russian troops now positioned on the eastern side of the river.
Cafes and nightclubs had since reopened, residents who had left the city fearing for their safety had begun to return, and a sense of relative normality had returned for many who for months had hidden from regular bombardment by Russian forces stationed nearby.
A house damaged by strikes on Mykolaiv on Thursday. PHOTO: STRINGER/REUTERS
Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Senkevich said people in the city had become unused to bombing after the prolonged lull in attacks. He said authorities were now figuring out whom to place in temporary housing and that emergency services were working on the scene of the blazes still raging at the sites of the strikes on Thursday morning.
Vladyslav Nazarov, a spokesman for Ukraine’s southern military command, which oversees the Mykolaiv region, said the use of Kalibr cruise missiles launched from the Black Sea meant that Russia had likely deliberately targeted a residential area.
“Considering the fact that these are high-precision weapons that work off guidance coordinates, this is a clear case of terror against the civilian population,” he said. Russia didn’t immediately comment on the accusation or the strikes, but it has repeatedly denied targeting civilians in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, a monthslong battle continued to rage for control of Bakhmut in the east. Ukrainian forces are fighting to maintain a foothold in the city as they gear up for a major offensive aimed at ousting Russian troops from areas they occupy.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the paramilitary Wagner Group spearheading Russia’s advance in Bakhmut, said late Wednesday that his forces hadn’t yet taken the city but were close to doing so. He also said Ukrainian forces would likely not be cut off there as some roads still remain open from nearby Ivanivske.
“From the west…there are still roads, they’re bad, they’re difficult, we shoot at them every day, but the enemy is still sending reserves every day,” Mr. Prigozhin said.
A Ukrainian soldier in a shelter in Bakhmut on Wednesday. PHOTO: LIBKOS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, said more private military companies, besides Wagner, were operating in and around Bakhmut, raising tensions between different Russian groupings.
“It appears that the increased prevalence of other PMCs around Bakhmut may be causing substantial friction,” the think tank said.
In northern Poland, near a training center for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization around Bydgoszcz, authorities were investigating an unexploded missile, several meters long, that had been found in a forest with Cyrillic printed on it.
“About 15 kilometers from Bydgoszcz, the remains of an unidentified military armament were found,” the Polish Defense Ministry said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that the alliance and its partner countries had delivered 98% of the combat vehicles they had pledged to Ukraine, including 1,550 armored vehicles and 230 tanks. “This will put Ukraine in a strong position to continue to retake occupied territory,” he said in Brussels.
Write to Matthew Luxmoore at email@example.com and Thomas Grove at firstname.lastname@example.org