The Russian Defense Ministry says missile strikes destroyed Ukrainian planes in the south of the country

Amid the intense war in Eastern Europe, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed on Saturday that it hit a Ukrainian plane, Spectator Index reported. The Defense Ministry claimed its missile strikes destroyed the plane in southern Ukraine. It came hours after the regional governor confirmed that Russian shelling in Lyman increased dramatically on Saturday, resulting in the death of one person in the Donetsk region. “Russia is killing civilians! On May 6, as a result of Russian shelling, a civilian from Donbass was killed in Lyman. Three other people were injured,” Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote in a Telegram article.

With Russia due to commemorate Victory Day on May 9, Ukraine’s National Security Council has warned citizens to take extra precautions amid speculation of increased shelling on Sunday and Monday. A Facebook post urged civilians not to ignore air raid sirens. “Since Russian troops cannot boast of any significant achievements on the front lines by VE Day, the risk of massive shelling of Ukrainian cities is increasing these days,” the message read. Meanwhile, Russia, on the other hand, has asserted that it has no intention of stepping up bombing because of VE Day.

“Russian forces will not complete their operation on VE Day”

Reacting to the recent statement by US officials, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexey Zaitsev said he had no intention of deploying tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Calling the US officials’ statement “baseless”, he said: “Russia firmly adheres to the principle that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and it must not be unleashed.” He also blamed the wider Western bloc for what he called its “irresponsible” handling of the situation in Ukraine. Amid speculation that Russian forces would use their maximum muscle against Ukrainian troops ahead of VE Day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed the reports and said: “Moscow will not adjust its actions with strength”. According to Lavrov, Russia is in no mood to wrap up ongoing “military operations” in line with Victory Day, also called an anniversary day to celebrate Nazi Germany’s surrender to Allied forces.

Russia–Ukraine War

It is relevant to mention here that Russia launched a full-fledged war against Ukraine almost two days after Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing the independence of the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Putin’s action came despite repeated warnings from the West and speculation that he was ill-intentioned to invade Ukraine. On February 24, Russian troops launched a military operation against Ukraine. Since then, it has bombed several cities in Ukraine, killing thousands of civilians.

Image: AP

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