Moscow is demanding revenge for the sinking of the Russian flagship by Ukraine

Russia bombed cities across Ukraine yesterday in revenge for the sinking of its Black Sea flagship, the Moskva, amid reports that hundreds of its sailors were killed in the attack.

Trikes carrying long-range, high-precision missiles were fired against Kyiv and western Ukraine after weeks of relative calm and despite Russia’s focus on a new offensive in the east.

Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, urged residents who fled the capital not to return after the city came under renewed fire.

“I beg you to refrain from doing this [coming back] and stay in safer places. Our air defense forces are doing everything to protect us, but the enemy is insidious and ruthless,” he said.

“Kyiv was and remains a target of the aggressor. We do not rule out further strikes in the capital. We cannot forbid, we can only recommend.

“If you have the opportunity to stay a little longer in the cities where it’s safer, do it.”

Hours after Russia confirmed its biggest warship loss since World War II, Moscow vowed to intensify long-range strikes in retaliation for what it called “sabotage” and “terrorism.”

The first siren went off in Kyiv around 5am yesterday, and three of them went off by mid-afternoon.

Smoke billowed across the east of the city early in the morning after a Russian attack on a military equipment factory in the south-eastern Darnytskyi district.

Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said the target was a tank repair factory and one of several locations hit by “air-launched long-range high-precision weapons”.

On Friday, Russia targeted a factory that makes the Neptune missiles that sank the Moscow. Russian forces used long-range sea-launched missiles to hit the facility.

The strikes broke a two-week gap in major strikes in Kyiv and came as tentative signs that pre-invasion life was resuming after Russian troops failed to capture the capital.

Anti-tank obstacles known as Czech hedgehogs still line roads, and sandbags and concrete checkpoints remain – but the fighters who man them have mostly moved on.

Posters no longer spread safety instructions and warnings about Russian “invaders”, but instead show patriotic messages. Russia last attacked the city center on March 22.

In addition to revenge for the MoscowRecent attacks on Kiev’s military manufacturing facilities could be aimed at undermining Ukraine’s capabilities ahead of an expected full-scale Russian attack in the east.

Since the sinking of the warship, the shelling has also increased in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city. Nine civilians died and 50 were injured on Friday, the Ukrainian government said.

A rocket landed near an outdoor market in the city yesterday, killing one person and injuring at least 18 people, according to rescue workers. Valentina Ulianova, a local resident who lives nearby, said: “All windows, all furniture, everything destroyed. And the door too.”

There were also attacks by Russian planes in the Lviv region in western Ukraine near the Polish border, which had long been considered safe. The city has so far remained relatively unscathed and serves as a haven for refugees and international aid agencies.

Russian Su-35 aircraft used in the air raids on Lviv took off from bases in Belarus. The Ukrainian military said four approaching cruise missiles were shot down by air defenses.

Meanwhile, fighting continued in the devastated southern port city of Mariupol, which has been blocked by Russian forces since the early days of the invasion.

While its new focus is on the Donbass region, attacks across the country in recent days show that Russia is determined to exact a price for the demise of the Moscow.

In Moscow, officials tried to downplay the loss – but some conservative commentators called for revenge.

Viktor Baranets, a military commentator, told Russian TV that the Odessa region, from where the rockets that hit the ship were launched, should be seized. He said there was “no right to keep Odessa and Odessa region as part of Ukraine”.

He added: “If the Russophobic regime [in Ukraine] retains control of even a fraction of the Black Sea coast, it will definitely use anti-ship missiles, which will sooner or later hit our ships.”

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday that all 510 crew members had been rescued and taken to the ship’s home base in Sevastopol in Russia-annexed Crimea.

An article by the state news agency Tass initially claimed that the “entire crew” had been rescued. It was later edited to remove the word “complete”.

But two days later there was no verifiable confirmation from a single survivor.

Late yesterday, the Defense Ministry released a video it claimed showed Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, the commander of the Russian Navy, meeting with the Moscow Crew in Sevastopol after the attack.

The soundless 26-second clip shows the admiral greeting several dozen men in generic uniforms. However, when the video was filmed and who was in it could not be confirmed.

It took the Russian military nearly a day to admit the embarrassing loss of pride in its Black Sea fleet after it was hit in the early hours of Thursday, initially insisting it had caught fire after an explosion and was being towed back to shore.

But the United States has since confirmed that the warship was indeed hit by two Ukrainian missile strikes.

The Kremlin later admitted this Moscowone of the Navy’s three main missile carriers, had sunk – but said it was due to “choppy waters” and occurred while it was being towed to safety.

If the majority of the crew died, the incident could be the worst single Russian military casualty event since World War II.

It could lead to Vladimir Putin facing a similar backlash in Russia as he did to the nuclear submarine Kursk sank in the Barents Sea in 2000 after a torpedo on board exploded in her hatch.

Most of the Kursks The crew of 118 were killed instantly, but 23 sailors remained in the half-flooded section awaiting rescue, which never came.

Putin, still in his first year in office, needed several days to finish his beach vacation and go to the scene of the crime, and as it later emerged, Russia had turned down international offers of help. He faced a massive outburst of grief and anger from the sailors’ widows, and the Russian media was scathing about his handling of the disaster.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has banned the British prime minister Boris Johnson and blocked 12 senior British politicians from entering Russia in retaliation for sanctions.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the decision was made because Britain tried to isolate Russia and hurt its economy after invading Ukraine.

It added: “The move came in response to London’s rampant information and political campaign aimed at isolating Russia internationally, creating conditions to constrain our country and stalling the domestic economy.

“The British leadership is deliberately aggravating the situation around Ukraine by supplying the Kiev regime with deadly weapons and coordinating similar efforts on behalf of NATO.

“The Russophobic approach of the British authorities, whose main goal is to foment a negative attitude towards our country, restricting bilateral relations in almost all areas, harms the well-being and interests of British residents.

Any sanctions attack will inevitably backfire on its initiators and face a decisive rebuff.”

A UK government spokesman said: “Britain and our international partners join forces to condemn the Russian government’s reprehensible actions in Ukraine and call on the Kremlin to end the war. We remain resolute in our support for Ukraine.”

Johnson was last in Russia in 2017 when he was British Foreign Secretary. On that occasion – the first visit by a British foreign secretary to Moscow in five years – he spoke to Russian officials about global security.

Last week, Johnson visited Ukrainian President Zelenskyy in Kyiv to show his support.

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022] Moscow is demanding revenge for the sinking of the Russian flagship by Ukraine

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