On the morning of 15 August, the Russian Air Force carried out a massive attack on Ukrainian cities far from the front line – in particular, Lviv, Lutsk, Dnipro and Smila were hit. As a result of a missile landing on a facility in Lutsk, three civilians were killed. The devastation in Lviv was tangible: at least 100 houses were damaged and 70 flats were burnt out as a result of missile debris. Fortunately, there were no casualties, but 15 people were injured with varying severity.
The Russians used 28 cruise missiles of the X-101/X-555, X-22 and Kalibr types, of which 16 were shot down by air defence systems. The nature of the damage caused shows that Russia deliberately targets civilian objects: in particular, one of the missiles, which could not be shot down in the air, destroyed a playground near a kindergarten in Lviv. The Russian army has finally degenerated, so the missile terrorisation of Ukrainian civilians is an intermediate military outcome for Putin. Continued missile attacks are a strong argument in favour of further supplies of air and missile defence equipment for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. With the approach of winter and colder weather, Russia is expected to intensify its bombardment of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
Russia has been launching missile attacks on Ukrainian cities throughout the war – unable to achieve credible results on the battlefield, Putin sees the killing of Ukrainian civilians as revenge for Ukraine’s refusal to be enslaved. Russia’s ongoing war crimes are particularly repulsive because the targets of the missiles are non-military targets, including residential buildings. Russian propaganda has insinuated that the destruction of residential buildings is the result of collateral damage from Ukraine’s air defence systems, but the scale of the damage from the missile attacks belies such a suggestion. The blast from an air defence missile is not capable of destroying hundreds of houses or creating a huge crater in a children’s playground.
For 17 months, the Russians have been carrying out the systematic genocide of Ukrainians. These crimes are taking place close to the EU/NATO borders. The tragedy taking place in Ukraine is too close to ignore; Putin is not only trying to occupy Ukraine, but is also rehearsing the crimes that his army will commit against EU citizens and EU cities. Supplying all the necessary weapons to Ukraine to defend their freedom is the only way to prevent Russia from attacking targets in NATO countries.
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