Russian missiles destroy fuel depot in Eastern Ukraine, official says


A fuel storage depot in the Eastern Ukrainian town of Novomoskovsk exploded on Sunday, killing one person and injuring two others, after it had been hit by three Russian missiles, the regional administration chief said in an online message.

Valentyn Reznichenko posted a picture of what he said was a large blaze at the depot. Novomoskovsk lies just to the north east of Dnipro, the regional capital.

Eleven people were injured in the strike itself, Reznichenko had said on Saturday. Firefighters were still trying to put out a fire from the missile strike, some 14 hours after the depot was hit, Reznichenko said early on Sunday.

In northeastern Ukraine, Russian Iskander missiles struck a tank repair plant in Kharkiv, the Russian Defence Ministry said on Sunday. The Iskander is a mobile short-range ballistic missile system.

The ministry also said it had destroyed 10 155-mm M777 howitzers and up to 20 military vehicles in the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv that had been supplied by Western countries over the past 10 days.

Ukrainian police officers look at a building damaged by shelling in Kharkiv on June 16. (Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty Images)

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, experienced intense shelling in the first two months of the war Moscow launched on Feb. 24. Russia called it a “special military operation” to disarm its neighbour and protect Russian speakers there from dangerous nationalists. Ukraine and its allies dismissed that as a baseless pretext for a war of aggression. 

Russian forces trying to approach Kharkiv aim to turn it into a “front-line city,” Vadym Denysenko, a Ukrainian Interior Ministry official, said on Sunday.

NATO warns of long war

The war in Ukraine could last for years, the head of NATO said on Sunday, calling for steadfast support from Ukraine’s allies as Russian forces battle for territory in the country’s east.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said supplying state-of-the-art weaponry to Ukrainian troops would boost the chance of freeing its eastern Donbas region from Russian control, Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported.

After failing to take the capital Kyiv early on in the war, Russian forces have focused efforts in recent weeks on trying to take complete control of the Donbas, parts of which were already under the control of Russian-backed separatists before the invasion.

“We must prepare for the fact that it could take years. We must not let up in supporting Ukraine,” Stoltenberg was quoted as saying.

Russia claims success near Severodonetsk

Russia said on Sunday that its offensive against Severodonetsk in Eastern Ukraine was proceeding successfully after it took control of Metyolkine, a district on the outskirts of the city.

PHOTOS | Day 115 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: 

Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov also said in a video statement that long-range Kalibr cruise missiles struck a command centre in the Dnipropetrovsk region, killing Ukrainian generals and officers.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the details or toll of Russia’s strikes on Ukraine.

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