The Ukrainian military said it had shot down ten Russian missiles and 25 drones overnight that were sent by Russian forces over the capital Kyiv, the city of Dnipro and the provinces of eastern Ukraine. The rocket also hit a clinic in Dnipro.
In May, the Russian army intensified its attacks on Ukrainian cities, mostly targeting infrastructure and logistics facilities on Ukrainian territory. According to the claims of the Ukrainian authorities, during the night, their army shot down ten rockets that were fired from near the Caspian Sea, 23 Iranian-made drones and two other drones. A few missiles hit targets in the Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk areas.
“We have a very difficult night behind us. It was very loud as the enemy launched a large-scale attack on our countryside,” said the governor of Dnipropetrovsk Sergius Lisakwho added that several houses and cars were destroyed in the Dnipro.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky then announced that the clinic in Dnipro was also hit. Two people died, 30 people were injured, including two children. “Another Russian attack, another crime against humanity. The psychology clinic and the veterinary clinic in Dnipro were destroyed,” Zelenski wrote on Twitter.
According to the mayor of Dnipro Boris Filatov a rocket hit a mental health clinic that is part of a larger hospital. Among the injured are boys aged three and six.
Zelenski posted a video on Twitter of buildings without roofs and broken windows with smoke billowing out of them. At the same time, he wrote that rescuers are working at the scene, removing the rubble and rescuing victims, and added that with the attack on the medical facility “Russian terrorists reaffirmed that they are fighters against everything humane and fair”.
His wife Olena Zelenska she tweeted that the attack showed “a terrible level of cynicism”. Ukrainian journalists, however, published videos of rescuers helping bloodied people to escape the clinic through corridors full of rubble.
In Kiev, the roof of a shopping center, a private house and several vehicles were damaged in the attacks. “Another air raid on Kiev, the thirteenth in a row since the beginning of May! And as always at night,” the city’s military administration announced on its Telegram account. They wrote that Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers fired cruise missiles at the city from the Caspian Sea area.
In its daily morning report, the Ukrainian General Staff reported 55 Russian airstrikes in the past day, including 36 by drones and four by rockets. The S-300 missile hit a dam in the Karlivka area of the Donetsk region, so there is a high risk of flooding other nearby settlements, they added.
The Russian Ministry of Defense announced today that the attacks on Ukraine were aimed at weapons depots and that all selected targets were hit.
Detonation and attacks in Russia
In Russia, meanwhile, according to local authorities, a detonation damaged a building in the city of Krasnodar, which lies near the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, but did not claim any casualties.
Russia’s southern border province of Belgorod, according to local authorities, was the target of dozens of Ukrainian attacks in the last 24 hours. Five districts were repeatedly attacked with drones, mortars and artillery, and the village of Kozinka was attacked more than 130 times, the governor of the province Vyacheslav Gladkov messages on social networks. He did not name any potential victims.
Scholz still plans to talk to Putin
German chancellor Olaf Scholz said in an interview with the German newspaper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger that he intends to speak with the Russian president again in the future Vladimir Putin. He insisted that his goal was further “to actively support Ukraine”, however “while also preventing direct conflict between NATO and Russia”.
When asked about the possibility of a negotiated cessation of hostilities, he said that Putin must understand that the war cannot be ended by concluding some kind of cold peace. “For example, by turning the current front line into a new ‘border’ between Russia and Ukraine,” he said. A condition for a just peace is the withdrawal of the Russian army.
He declined to answer the question of whether Putin should step down, saying that in the end an agreement between the governments in Moscow and Kiev would be necessary. Some time has passed since his telephone conversation with Putin, he admitted, but he is ready for further talks. “When the moment is right, I plan to talk to Putin again,” he said.
The last time the two leaders spoke on the phone was at the beginning of December last year. In that hour-long conversation, Scholz called on Putin to withdraw Russian troops from Ukraine, and Putin accused the West of leading “devastating” politics.
Since then, tensions between Moscow and Berlin have only escalated, especially after Scholz’s government authorized the shipment of German-made battle tanks to Ukraine in January.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin announced that Putin is ready for a new telephone conversation about the war in Ukraine with the German chancellor.
So far, Scholz has not called or Berlin has not initiated such a conversation, the Kremlin spokesman said in response to the Chancellor’s statements. Dmitry Peskov. “President Putin remains open to dialogue, but of course he is working towards the fundamental goal of protecting the interests of our citizens,” Peskov added.
Lavrov warns of “serious obstacles” to negotiations
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meanwhile to the special envoy of China To Li Hui during a visit to Moscow said that they exist “serious obstacles” for the continuation of peace talks to end the conflict in Ukraine, for which, according to him, Ukraine and its Western allies are to blame. At the same time, he praised, in his words, Beijing’s balanced position towards the conflict.
“The Russian Foreign Minister reaffirmed Moscow’s commitment to a political-diplomatic solution to the conflict and warned of serious obstacles to the continuation of peace talks created by the Ukrainian side and its Western mentors,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said, without explaining exactly what these obstacles were supposed to be.
Lavrov also praised it “balanced” Beijing’s position on the conflict in Ukraine and its willingness to play “a positive role in resolving the crisis”, reports the German news agency DPA. China, Russia’s strategic ally, has not condemned the Russian invasion and is trying to present itself as a neutral mediator who could help end the conflict.
Li, who was China’s ambassador to Russia from 2009 to 2019, visited Ukraine and its President Zelensky on May 16 as part of a tour of Europe aimed at promoting China’s plan to resolve the conflict in Ukraine. He said at the time that there is no miracle cure to resolve the conflict.
China’s peace plan, which Beijing presented in February, has met with criticism from Western allies of Ukraine, led by the United States, saying that the proposals in it are mainly in favor of Russia.
Japan tightens sanctions
Meanwhile, Japan announced a new set of sanctions against Russia and condemned Russia’s announcement that it will install tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus. “Japan, as the only country to have experienced the consequences of a nuclear bomb during wartime, will never accept the Russian nuclear threat, let alone the use of nuclear force,” said the chief of staff of the Japanese prime minister Hirokazu Matsuno. At the same time, Tokyo announced that it would freeze the assets of 78 Russian organizations and 17 individuals and ban exports for 80 Russian companies.