Saturday, June 3, 2023

Ukraine Downs Russian Barrage As China Envoy Due

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Ukraine said on Tuesday it had downed an entire barrage of Russian drones and missiles overnight — including six hypersonic Kinzhal missiles — hours ahead of a visit from China’s special envoy.

The wave of strikes came just over a week after Kyiv announced it had shot down a Kinzhal nuclear-capable hypersonic missile for the first time, using US-supplied Patriot systems.

Ukraine’s mounting success in taking out dozens of Russian drones and missiles illustrates its bolstered air defences, after a winter of Moscow’s strikes on key infrastructure.

“Another unbelievable success for the Ukrainian air forces!” Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said in a Twitter post.

The defence ministry said Ukrainian air defence systems had knocked out a total of 18 missiles, including types the Kremlin had touted as “ideal”, as well as nine drones.

Three people were injured in Kyiv and some rocket fragments fell on the capital’s zoo, but neither staff nor animals were hurt, Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said.

Russia said all the targets assigned by its military had been hit.

China’s special envoy, Li Hui, was expected to arrive in Kyiv for a two-day visit as part of a European tour to promote Beijing-led peace negotiations on the war in Ukraine.

A senior Ukrainian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Ukrainian authorities planned to further discuss Kyiv’s stance on the conflict and China’s peace mission.

“The president already said at the Vatican that we don’t need mediation for the sake of mediation,” the official said, referring to Zelensky’s recent talks with Pope Francis.

READ ALSO: We’ll Ensure Ukraine Prevails In War Against Russia – NATO Affirms

He said the same message would be relayed to Beijing’s envoy.

“Ending the war with a compromise at the expense of Ukraine will not work.”

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Photo Credit: Getty

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