Ukraine reportedly intercepted three Russian long-range missiles and 25 suicide drones but did not disclose the total number of weapons deployed by Moscow.
“Russian forces at dawn on May 14 attacked Ukraine from many directions with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Kalibr cruise missiles launched from warships in the Black Sea and Kh-55/101/555 cruise missiles from Tu-95MS strategic bomber,” the Ukrainian Air Force Command said in a statement.
The Ukrainian Air Force claims to have shot down 18 Gerans, one Lancet suicide UAV, two Orlan-10 reconnaissance UAVs, four unknown unmanned aerial vehicles, and three Kh-55/101/555 missiles. However, this force did not disclose the total number of Russian missiles and UAVs used in the raid.
Oleg Sinegubov, head of the military service in the northeastern province of Kharkiv, said transport infrastructure in the region had been damaged. In contrast, an official in the Ukrainian President’s Office said two people were injured in the western province of Ternopil.
Pictures shared on social media show columns of fire and raging fires in Ternopil and Kharkiv provinces, while Russian media say some transport infrastructure in the central Dnipro and southern Mykolaiv provinces of Ukraine was also attacked. The Russian Defense Ministry has not commented on the information.
Natalia Humeniuk, a spokeswoman for Ukraine’s Southern Operations Command, said last week that Russia is increasing the intensity of its air strikes to assess and locate air defense complexes and seek to erode defense nets.
The British military said late last month that Russia was trying to destroy reserve units and a series of weapons that had just been donated to Ukraine. The British Ministry of Defense believes that the number of weapons deployed by Russia in recent attacks is less than in the winter raids, most likely not targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
A series of large explosions occurred on May 13 in the city of Khmelnytskyi, western Ukraine, apparently caused by UAVs attacking ammunition depots and fuel storage points.
The warehouse of the Pavlograd Chemical Plant, which produces many types of missiles for the Ukrainian army, was also ambushed on the night of April 30 and created an explosion that lit up the night sky in the central province of Dnipro.
The West and Ukraine have repeatedly mentioned recently a large-scale counter-offensive campaign expecting to recapture many areas under Russian control. Some Ukrainian officials said they would launch a counterattack when conditions permit and would “make the whole of Russia panic. ” However, Zelensky said that a counterattack at this time is “not appropriate” because it will cause great casualties.
Western military experts estimate that after Russian forces consolidated the line of defense more than 1,000 kilometers long, it is difficult for the Ukrainian army with current resources to advance far or repeat a feat like a counterattack in September 2022 in Kharkiv and Kherson.