Kyiv suffers largest missile strike in months that kills 2, wounds another
Debris rained from the Kyiv night sky as Russia launched air attacks on early Wednesday, killing at least two people in the Ukrainian capital, Mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote on the Telegram messaging app. (SOURCE: Reuters)
Ukraine and Russia made their boldest drone and missile strikes in months on each other, with a strike in Kyiv killing two people while a strike on ships in the Black Sea and an airport near the border lasted for hours, according to local reports.
“While the Russians have been retaliating brutally against Ukraine, Kyiv’s incremental escalation has prevented a massive conventional (or nuclear attack) that would have obliterated Ukraine,” Rebekah Koffler, president of Doctrine & Strategy Consulting and a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer, told Fox News Digital.
“It’s quite witty,” she said. “Will this win the war for Ukraine? No. But it might gradually wear down the Russian people’s morale.”
Two security guards died and another person suffered injuries due to falling debris from buildings in Kyiv, with additional Russian strikes on an unidentified facility and railway tracks in the central region of Zhytomyr overnight Wednesday.
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Ukraine, meanwhile, hit several regions in Russia, including an airport near the border with Estonia and Latvia that damaged military transport planes, as well as strikes on the central Pskov region and the city of Kaluga that destroyed a fuel depot and a microelectronics factory, the BBC reported.
This photo shows damage to a building following a drone attack in Moscow on Aug. 18, 2023. Russian forces have destroyed Ukrainian drones targeting Russia’s capital and its Black Sea Fleet, defense officials said. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images)
Both nations have increased the tempo and severity of their attacks in recent weeks to try and break their opponent as the invasion – or the “special operation,” as Russian President Vladimir Putin has continued to call it – reaches the 18-month mark with little end in sight.
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Kyiv launched a counteroffensive in June – a little over 15 months since the invasion started – but made little immediate progress. Reports from both sides indicate that Ukraine has started to gain some momentum, hitting valuable Russian military assets and starting to strike at targets within Russia itself.
People walk past a damaged building of the Moscow-City business center after a drone fell on Aug. 23, 2023, in Russia. (Contributor/Getty Images)
But Ukrainian officials have not taken credit for the attacks and not commented directly on any potential involvement: Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation, told AP recently that he has seen “news about long-range drones that hit various targets both in occupied Crimea and in the territory of Russia” and that his country has produced drones capable of such strikes.
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Koffler called Ukraine’s increased use of drone strikes “clever,” explaining that Ukraine has been “gradually eroding Putin’s red lines by striking Russia with pinpointed individual strikes.”
A view of City Clinical Hospital No. 67 near the site of a reported attack by a Ukrainian drone in Moscow, Russia on Aug. 11, 2023. (Boris Alekseev/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
“They’ve been bringing the war home to Russia, habituating ordinary Russians – who don’t have the whole picture because of the Kremlin’s overwhelming propaganda machine – that the motherland will have no peace, so long as Ukraine is under siege,” she added.
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She stressed that Ukraine must strive to avoid the “obvious risk of nuclear escalation,” which “keeps many national security professionals up at night.”
“Either way, the world is in it – Russia-Ukraine brutal war of attrition – for years,” Koffler said.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Peter Aitken is a Fox News Digital reporter with a focus on national and global news.