Ukrainian Forces Target Russian Refineries, Cause Fires: The Russians Attacked Kyiv

The White House allowed Kyiv to use Western long-range weapons for attacks inside Russia, Ukrainian drones and long-range missile systems give Putin headaches almost every day

by Sededin Dedovic
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Ukrainian Forces Target Russian Refineries, Cause Fires: The Russians Attacked Kyiv
© Ed Ram / Getty Images

Russian forces fired several ballistic and cruise missiles at targets in Ukraine today, with explosions felt and heard throughout the capital, Kyiv. The Ukrainian Air Force reported that Russia also attacked with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles today, one of the most advanced weapons in Moscow's arsenal.

The Kinzhal missile flies at ten times the speed of sound, making it difficult to intercept. Kyiv's city administration reported that debris from intercepted missiles caused fires in the Solomyanskyi, Dniprovskyi, and Holosiivskyi districts of Kyiv.

Smoke was rising from several blocks in Kyiv. There are no details yet on casualties and damage. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said ambulances were heading to the Solomyanskyi district. Explosions were also reported by local officials in the central Ukrainian region of Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv.

The aftermath of the destruction caused by a missile strike One warehouse worker is killed and dozens injured in missile strike © Nikoletta Stoyanova / Getty Images

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) announced today that it had thwarted an attempt by Ukrainian special services to hijack a Tu-22M3 strategic bomber of the Russian Aerospace Forces.

"The FSB of the Russian Federation prevented another attempt by Ukrainian special services to hijack a long-range Tu-22M3 strategic bomber of the Russian Aerospace Forces," the statement said, as reported by (pro-Putin media) RIA Novosti.

It added that the involvement of NATO special services in the preparation and execution of the operation was uncovered. According to the FSB, Ukrainian intelligence officers, in attempting to hijack the plane, planned to recruit a Russian military pilot who would land the Tupolev 22M3 in Ukraine for a monetary reward and Italian citizenship.

The Tu-22M3 is a long-range supersonic bomber designed to destroy targets at sea and on land with guided missiles. It is a modernized version of the Tu-22M2, with significantly expanded combat and defensive capabilities. It can carry nuclear and conventional missiles.

Zelensky with Dutch and British Ministers in Odesa

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with new Dutch Defense and Foreign Minister Kaspar Veldkamp and British Defense Minister John Healey in Odesa today on the occasion of Ukrainian Navy Day and briefed them on the situation at the front.

"We will continue to strengthen the Ukrainian fleet together with the UK and the Netherlands, and there are new encouraging details of our cooperation," Zelensky said, as reported by Ukrinform. He added that strengthening Ukrainian air defense, which is an absolute priority, was also discussed.

Zelensky then awarded medals to navy personnel and visited wounded soldiers. During his first visit to Ukraine, Dutch Foreign Minister Kaspar Veldkamp discussed with officials the delivery of an additional Patriot anti-aircraft system and a mobile forensic laboratory.

This was announced by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba at a joint press conference with Veldkamp in Kyiv.

Increased Ukrainian Drone and Long-Range Weapon Attacks

Russian authorities announced on Sunday that Ukrainian drone attacks caused several explosions in the southern Russian region of Voronezh, resulting in large clouds of smoke.

The region's governor, Alexander Gusev, said on Telegram that explosive material-containing facilities detonated after Ukrainian drones were shot down near the city of Podgorensky, south of the regional capital Voronezh.

The Ukrainian news portal Ukrainska Pravda reported that a 9,000-square-meter warehouse storing Russian military rockets, tank ammunition, and artillery shells was hit.

A Ukrainian sniper with the 28th Brigade looks towards a Russian position from a frontline trench© John Moore / Getty Images

Russian authorities have not confirmed these reports, but videos circulating on social media showed huge clouds of smoke rising over the region.

Witnesses reported explosions and smoke over Podgorensky, and local authorities declared a state of emergency. Two elderly women were taken to the hospital, according to Gusev. The Ministry of Defense in Moscow initially did not provide information about the drone attack on the Voronezh region, instead mentioning a separate Ukrainian drone attack on the border region of Belgorod, which they said was repelled.

The Voronezh region, a key supply route for the Russian military, has been repeatedly targeted by Ukrainian attacks since the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022. In one incident in June 2023, a series of serious explosions destroyed a fuel depot.

Ukrainian forces hit two refineries near Krasnodar in southern Russia, causing fires, the news agency UNIAN reported, citing Ukrainian military sources. Several fuel tanks caught fire after attacks late Saturday and early Sunday.

The fires were reported based on satellite images showing the tanks burning until Sunday afternoon. There was no confirmation from the Russian side, and these reports have not been independently verified. NATO leaders are meeting on July 9 at a summit in Washington.

The main topic of their meeting will be support for Ukraine and strengthening Russia's military deterrence. The situation on the battlefield is gradually turning in Moscow's favor, so the focus will be on Kiev's demands for weapons and Europe's need to increase defense spending.

The NATO meeting will discuss how to respond to Vladimir Putin's new, dangerous ways of creating additional costs for the US and its allies, and which could have devastating consequences.

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