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Ukraine war: Putin points blame at Ukraine after Moscow drone strikes

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to Director General of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to Director General of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives Copyright Gavriil Grigorov/Sputnik
Copyright Gavriil Grigorov/Sputnik
By Euronews with AP
Published on Updated
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All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.

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President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine was behind a string of drone attacks on the Russian capital, adding they wanted to strike terror in the Russian nation.

The strikes caused some minor damage and prompted some residents to evacuate their buildings.

Speaking to reporters, Putin said: "The Kyiv regime has chosen a different path: the path of attempts to intimidate Russia, Russian citizens and attacks on residential buildings. This is, of course, a clear sign of terrorist activities".

The Russian President also said that the Russian air defence worked in "a regular way, although there are things for us to work on".

Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the exhibition "Development of the Creative Economy in Russia" at the Zotov Cultural Center in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, May 30, 2023Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Russia's Ministry of Defence said air defence forces shot down eight drones and the attack caused no fatalities.

Earlier on Tuesday, a senior Russian lawmaker, Andrei Kartapolov, told Russian business news site RBC that “we have a very big country and there will always be a loophole where the drone can fly around the areas where air defence systems are located."

It's not the first time drones have been shot down in Russia.

In December, Russia claimed it had shot down drones at airfields in the Saratov and Ryazan regions in western Russia. Three soldiers were reported killed in the attack in Saratov, which targeted an important military airfield.

Kyiv has not yet made a direct comment. 

Moscow residents said they heard blasts, with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin later confirming a drone strike had taken place.

Sobyanin said in a Telegram post the attack caused "insignificant damage" to several buildings and that no one had been seriously hurt. He did not elaborate further.

People living in two buildings damaged in the attack were evacuated, Sobyanin said.

Some 30 drones were destroyed in the Moscow region, according to local media.

Observers have suggested this is a prelude to a possible Ukrainian counteroffensive, though this cannot be confirmed.

It was the second reported strike on Moscow after authorities claimed two drones targeted the Kremlin earlier this month in what was labelled an attempt on President Putin's life.

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The US-based Insitute for the Study of War claimed the incident was "likely staged". 

Russia attacks Kyiv for the third time in 24 hours

Russia launched a pre-dawn attack on Ukraine's capital on Tuesday, killing at least one person and sending residents scrambling into shelters to escape the relentless bombardment. 

The buzzing of drones could be heard over Kyiv, followed by loud explosions as they were taken down by air defence systems.

One person died and three were injured when a high-rise building in the Holosiiv district caught fire. 

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The building's upper two floors were destroyed, and there may be people under the rubble, the Kiyv military administration said. 

More than 20 people were evacuated.

At least 20 Shahed drones were intercepted in Russia's third attack on the capital in the past 24 hours, according to the military administration.

The Russian Defense Ministry said it launched a series of strikes early Monday targeting Ukrainian air bases. Command posts, radars, aircraft and ammunition stockpiles were destroyed, it claimed.

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Ukraine's peace plan the only solution, says Zelenskyy adviser

Russia's war in Ukraine can only be ended with the peace plan presented by Kyiv, a top aide to President Volodomyr Zelenskyy said, adding the time for mediation was long gone. 

Hitting back at the plans presented by China, Brazil, the Vatican, and South Africa in recent months, chief diplomatic adviser Ihor Zhovkva said Ukraine will not accept anything that gives up Russian-occupied territories. 

"In this period of open war, we don't need any mediators. It's too late for mediation," he said.

Ukraine's 10-point peace plan demands a complete withdrawal of Russian troops from all Ukrainian territories. 

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Zhovka added that the G7 summit reacted "extremely positively" to the peace plan. 

China's proposed 12-point plan, on the other hand, calls for a ceasefire yet does not condemn Russia or oblige it to withdraw troops from occupied land. 

"China is a wise country that understands its role in international affairs," Zhovka added, referring to his recent discussion with China's top envoy Li Hui.

Denmark announces more military aid for Kyiv

Denmark will increase its military assistance to Ukraine by 2.4 billion euros between 2023-24, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told the country's public broadcaster DR. 

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The Danish parliament initially agreed to contribute about one billion euros to set up the Ukraine Fund in March 2023.

Frederiksen said the increase was needed after more than 70% of the fund was used up.  

"The war in Ukraine is at a very critical time with a serious situation on the battlefield, and therefore Ukraine needs all the support it can possibly get," she said. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised Frederiksen's decision via Twitter on Monday. 

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"This major contribution will further strengthen the combat capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the short and medium term," Zelenskyy said. 

Ukraine turns to South Korea for defence systems - reports

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine "desperately hopes" to get defensive military assistance from Seoul in a local newspaper interview on Tuesday.

With the recent developments in the war, Zelenskyy said anti-aircraft and early warning systems are more vital than ever. 

"I know there are many limitations regarding weapons support, but those principles should not be applied to defence systems and equipment for protecting our assets," he told Chosun Ilbo. 

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South Korea has been providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the invasion began in February 2022, yet has been reluctant to send military aid and equipment. 

Set against its trade deal with Russia and the Kremlin's ties with neighbours North Korea, the country has resisted providing major arms to Ukraine despite requests from the US and European allies. 

"An anti-aircraft system is not a weapon but purely defensive equipment. We have to have a sky shield to rebuild Ukraine, and I desperately hope that South Korea will support us in this area," Zelenskyy said.

President Yoon Suk Yeol told Reuters in April that South Korea might give out more than just humanitarian and financial aid if Ukraine faced a large-scale civilian attack.

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