Russia says mass strikes were ‘retaliation’ for attack it blamed on Ukraine
(Reuters) – Russia said on Thursday that its forces had carried out a “massive retaliatory strike” on Ukrainian infrastructure after what it called a terrorist attack in Russia’s Bryansk region, which borders Ukraine, last week.
Ukraine said at least six civilians were killed in the first big volley of Russian missile strikes since mid-February,
The Russian defence ministry said in a statement that it hit Ukrainian defence companies and other “military infrastructure” with a range of weapons including Kinzhal hypersonic missiles.
It said it had destroyed targets including drone bases and sites producing ammunition, and disrupted the transport of foreign weapon supplies across Ukraine by rail. It was not possible to independently verify the claims.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said infrastructure and residential buildings in 10 regions had been hit.”The occupiers can only terrorise civilians,” he said in a statement.
The Russian ministry said the strikes were in response to what Moscow called a terrorist attack in Bryansk region last week, when members of a group called the Russian Volunteer Corps staged an incursion from Ukraine.
Russia said two civilians were killed in the incident, which Ukraine accused Moscow of staging as a false “provocation”.
In the course of its year-old invasion, Russia has launched mass “retaliatory” strikes before after incidents it blamed on Ukraine, including an explosion that caused serious damage last October to a bridge between Russia and the Moscow-annexed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.
(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Gareth Jones)