More than 50 missiles and 50 drones were launched towards southern, central and western Ukraine in the last few hours, according to Zelensky

Russia intensified air attacks on several regions of Ukraine on Friday night (May 31, 2024) and Saturday morning (June 1). The offensive began after the United States and NATO allies (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) authorized the use of their weapons against targets on Russian territory.

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a “bombardment of more than 50 missiles of various types and about 50 Shahed drones was aimed at southern, central and western Ukraine”. Explosions were reported in several cities, including the capital Kiev.

Zelensky said most of the equipment was destroyed, but the country’s energy infrastructure was again affected. Two thermoelectric plants were hit and at least 4 people were injured. Five regions were left in the dark.

Russia’s main goal is to normalize terror, take advantage of the lack of sufficient air defense equipment and the determination of Ukraine’s partners”, stated the Ukrainian president.

Tensions increased after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed, on Thursday (May 31), that President Joe Biden authorized the use of US weapons against a target inside Russia, close to the border with Kharkov. Ukraine’s 2nd largest city has been targeted by attacks in recent weeks.

Over the past few weeks, Ukraine has asked for permission to use the weapons we are providing to defend itself against this aggression, including against Russian forces massing on the Russian side of the border and then attacking Ukraine.”, said Blinken.

NATO and allied countries made similar moves throughout the day, authorizing limited use of their weapons against parts of Russian territory.

After a meeting with EU (European Union) foreign ministers on Friday (May 31), in Prague, Czech Republic, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he was confident that Ukrainian forces will use weaponsin accordance with international law and in a responsible manner”.

Russia attacked Ukraine and it has the right to defend itself, which also includes attacking legitimate military targets inside Russia,” said Stoltenberg. “It is very difficult for Ukraine to defend itself if it is not allowed to use advanced weapons to repel these attacks”, he added.

The Kremlin reacted with bombings. Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Ukraine’s use of Western weapons would be considered direct involvement by allies.

This is not military assistance, this is participation in the war against us. And such actions can become a casus belli [caso de guerra]”, said Medvedev, stating that it is a “fatal error” think that Russia will not use its nuclear weapons.

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