Russia launched a large-scale missile attack on several cities in Ukraine on February 10, allegedly to spy on the country’s air defenses and warn Kiev’s allies.
In a statement, the Ukrainian Air Force Command said it shot down 61 of 70 Russian cruise missiles and five unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in a wave of attacks on February 10.
The Ukrainian Air Force confirmed that the S-300 air defense missile was launched from the Russian city of Belgorod and the territory controlled by Moscow in the Zaporizhzhia province, near the city of Tokmak, Ukraine. In total, Russia launched 106 missiles and 7 UAVs into Ukraine.
Air raid sirens sounded in Kiev and other cities on the morning of February 10. Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal accused Russia of repeatedly attacking to destroy the country’s energy infrastructure.
Mikhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, said Moscow had “attacked cities all night and all morning”. He called on Ukraine’s Western partners to accelerate the delivery of sophisticated defense systems, including long-range missiles and fighter jets.
This is attributed to Russia’s strategic plan, in what is considered to be a test of Kiev’s defense infrastructure so that Moscow can plan future offensive operations, and is a strong warning. to Western countries.
According to the data, Russia previously carried out an attack of 35 S-300 missiles on the night of February 9. They targeted in and around the cities of Kharkov and Zaporizhzhia.
Command spokesman Yuri Ihnat said the Kremlin appeared to be carrying out a “spy offensive operation” ahead of a large-scale offensive in the coming days.
Western governments have also predicted that President Vladimir Putin will launch a new attack on Ukraine before the day marking the one-year anniversary of the opening of a special military operation .
Ihnat said that Russian forces “traditionally” have deployed missiles and UAVs from eastern positions in Russia and the Sea of Azov. However, on February 10, Moscow launched Kalibr cruise missiles from a frigate and a submarine in the Black Sea, as well as from the southern city of Tokmak.
Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluhnyi said two of the sea-launched missiles entered the airspace of Moldova and Romania when air raid sirens sounded across the country. They then returned to attack Ukraine and the western Chernivts, he added.
However, the Romanian Foreign Ministry flatly denied this information. The ministry said Russia’s cruise missiles did not enter its territory. Two MiG-21s during the training flight were diverted to monitor the area. “After about two minutes, the situation was cleared up and the two planes resumed their original mission,” the ministry added.
Romania’s Defense Ministry also reported that the country’s airspace monitoring system detected a target similar to a cruise missile launched from a Russian ship in the Black Sea, near the Crimean peninsula. The missile passed through Moldova airspace, but did not enter Romanian airspace.
While Moldova confirmed the incident and summoned the Russian ambassador to protest.
Meanwhile, Moldova summoned the Russian ambassador about the incident and confirmed that at least one missile had flown over its airspace. According to military experts, this is not the first time a missile has crossed over Moldova’s airspace, a move that risks spreading the existing conflict across the region.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Russian missile “flying over Moldova is a challenge to the military alliance and collective security. “This is behavior that must be stopped”, Mr. Zelensky said.
The Russian attacks on February 10 came shortly after President Zelensky returned to Kyiv from a two-day European tour to London, Paris, and Brussels. On the way back, the Ukrainian leader met Polish President Andrzej Duda in the city of Rzeszow.
Zelensky said that the two leaders discussed the current situation on the battlefield, Ukraine’s defense needs, further military cooperation, and joint diplomatic steps. “I told my counterpart Andrzej about the visit to Brussels,” Zelensky wrote on Telegram, stressing that it was important that Ukraine started negotiations to join the EU “as soon as this year”.
“This will become a motivating factor for Ukrainian society and the military, which is already facing very difficult tests,” Zelensky said.