One person was injured, two Russian government buildings were damaged and a Moscow airport was briefly forced to close on Sunday after a drone strike as Ukraine stepped up efforts to take the war into Russia.
The development occurred when former President Donald Trump called for a temporary halt in US military support.
The damaged buildings included offices of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Digital Development and the Federal Agency for Nationalities, Russian media outlet The Insider reported. The area was evacuated and several streets were cordoned off. In addition, the governor of the Bryansk region near the border said a Ukrainian strike damaged a pig breeding complex and injured three people.
President of Ukraine said Volodymyr Zelenskyy it was “inevitable, natural and … just” to bring the war to Russian soil.
“Ukraine is getting stronger,” Zelenskyy said. “The war is gradually returning to Russian territory, to its symbolic centers and military bases.”
One drone on its way to Moscow was destroyed in the air, and the other two were electronically suppressed and crashed in the city, the Russian Defense Ministry said. A security guard in one of the downtown buildings was injured, Russian state-run Tass news agency reported.
Vnukovo airport was closed to arrivals and departures for about an hour. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the attack “insignificantly damaged” the facades of the two damaged buildings. Photos from the scene show windows blown out.
It was the third strike in Moscow in less than a week. Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat said the Russians have begun to see the consequences of invading Ukraine in February 2022.
“All those people who think the war ‘doesn’t concern us,’ it already affects them,” Ihnat said.
Drone strikes:Ukraine’s drones strike Moscow; Kremlin threatens ‘harsh retaliatory measures’: Updates
◾ The Pentagon is buying up to 500 Starlink terminals, the satellite internet technology made by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, so that Ukraine officials can carry out sensitive communications without fear of interruption, New York Times reported.
◾ Two people were killed and 20 were injured in a missile attack on Saturday in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Sumy, authorities said on Facebook. Several buildings were damaged.
◾ It appears that the thousands of Wagner mercenaries who have settled in a base in central Belarus do not have the heavy equipment they used in Ukraine and may have had to return it to the Russian military, This is stated by the British Ministry of Defenceadding that lack of combat vehicles would limit their combat effectiveness.
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Trump calls for ending military aid to Ukraine
Trump wants Congress to withhold military aid to Ukraine until the Biden administration cooperates Congressional investigations into the business dealings of Biden’s son Hunter Biden. Trump, speaking at a rally Saturday in Erie, Pennsylvania, said no further arms shipments should be approved until the FBI, Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service present “every shred of evidence” they have of possible wrongdoing by Biden family members.
Trump threatened Republican lawmakers who did not participate in the effort with primary challenges. Trump candidates have brought down several Republicans in the past, as his rabid public routinely pressures GOP lawmakers who fall out of favor with the former president.
“They have to play hard,” Trump said. “If they’re not willing to do that, we’ve got a lot of good, tough Republicans around … and they’re going to have my support every single time.”
Russia has received about 30 peace initiatives for a solution in Ukraine through official and unofficial channels, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said after the Russian-African summit that ended in St. Petersburg at the weekend. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the African peace initiative – which includes a Russian withdrawal from Ukraine, a ceasefire, the removal of Russian tactical nuclear weapons from Belarus, the suspension of the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant against Putin and an end to Western sanctions against Russia − could become the “foundation” for a peace process. But he did not commit to withdrawing his troops.
“We are extremely grateful to our African friends that they really – not in words, but in action – value peace,” Zakharova said.
Those friends went home with almost no parting gifts. African nations are among the most affected by Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grains Initiative and received no assurances of a turnaround. Putin promised to begin sending 25,000 to 50,000 tons of free grain to each of six African countries in the coming months, but that is significantly less than the 725,000 tons that the U.N.’s World Food Program has sent to several hungry countries, African and otherwise, during grain trade.
“We would like to see the Black Sea Initiative implemented and the Black Sea open,” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, one of less than 20 of the 54 African leaders attending the summit. “We are not here to ask for donations for the African continent.”
The Bureau of the International Fencing Federation overturned its own suspension of Ukrainian saber Olga Kharlan, ruling that she can compete in the women’s saber team competition at the 2023 World Fencing Championships underway in Milan. The bureau said Kharlan admitted the penalty against her was correct after she refused to shake hands with a Russian opponent she defeated in an elimination match Thursday in the women’s individual saber. FIE president Emmanuel Katsiadakis said officials discussed the issue thoroughly and met with Kharlan.
“After consultation with the International Olympic Committee, we believe that this decision has been taken in accordance with the Olympic spirit,” Katsiadakis said. “It also sends a message of sensitivity and understanding to our members and all sports federations as the world faces enormous challenges.”
Kharlan said in a statement that she was grateful for the decision.
“The most important thing for an athlete is to be able to compete for my family, my team, my country and all the people who support me,” she said. “In these difficult days, I appreciate all the support I have received from all over the world.”
A senior Russian lawmaker warned his nation on Sunday that Moscow must win the war in Ukraine or “cease to exist as a people.” Pyotr Tolstoy, deputy speaker of the Russian Duma, urged Russians to rally around Putin or face dire consequences, according to a translation from Russian media monitor.
“Right now Russia is in a situation where we either win this war or we cease to exist as a people and as a nation,” Tolstoy said. “There is no stopping, fixing or anchoring.”
Tolstoy said Russia should “seriously think through” how to take Odesa and Dnipro and place Kyiv under siege.
“How will we go about convincing those who did not take up a weapon, but put a pot on their heads and believed that Ukraine is an independent nation,” Tolstoy said. “Either they destroy us or we destroy them!”
Featured: Associated Press