Crimea and two Russian regions neighbouring Ukraine has seen another wave of attacks, local officials said, a day after Kyiv was hit by massive bombardment and amid intensifying aerial attacks on both sides.
“The situation in Belgorod continues to be tense. There were two attacks in the morning,” the governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov said.
Russian air defence said it destroyed six missiles over the Belgorod region, which has been repeatedly struck throughout the conflict.
One person was killed and 11 injured the day before, Mr Gladkov said.
An aerial attack damaged infrastructures and caused power cuts in the Kursk region, to the north of Belgorod, its governor Roman Starovoyt said on Telegram.
And another missile was downed near Sevastopol in the Crimean peninsula that Russia annexed in 2014, the city’s governor said, with no reported damage.
Russian regions bordering Ukraine have seen regular strikes since the beginning of the offensive.
But Belgorod has been particularly hit in the wake of massive Russian strikes on Ukraine last week.
In retaliation Belgorod faced a wave of attacks over the weekend, with 25 people killed, an unprecedented toll since the beginning of the offensive almost two years ago.
The Polish foreign minister today called on allies to deliver long-range missiles to Ukraine to help Kyiv target “launch sites and command centres” amid the new wave of Russian attacks.
Poland’s top diplomat Radoslaw Sikorski said on social media that the West should respond “in language that Putin understands”.
He urged allies to provide Kyiv with “long-range missiles that will enable it to take out launch sites and command centres”.
Poland is among Ukraine’s staunchest allies, with the new administration in Warsaw doubling down on political support to the neighbouring country.
Mr Sikorski also said the response to Russia pummelling Ukraine should include “tightening” of Western sanctions against Moscow so that it “cannot make new weapons with smuggled components”.
Appointed in December as Poland’s foreign minister in the new pro-EU government, Mr Sikorski chose Ukraine for his first visit abroad, where he said the West should “mobilise” its economy to arm Ukraine.
We should respond to the latest onslaught on Ukraine in language that Putin understands: by tightening sanctions so that he cannot make new weapons with smuggled components and by giving Kyiv long range missiles that will enable it to take out launch sites and command centers.
— Radosław Sikorski 🇵🇱🇪🇺 (@sikorskiradek) January 3, 2024
Meanwhile, the European Union has added Russia’s Alrosa, the world’s biggest diamond producer, as well as its CEO Pavel Alekseevich Marinychev to its sanctions list.
“In line with the diamond ban we have introduced with the12th package of sanctions, the EU today lists Alrosa, thelargest diamond-mining company in the world, and its CEO,” EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on social media platform X.
The EU’s diamond ban is done in coordination with the Group of Seven countries (G7), which announced a similar ban in December.
Alrosa did not immediately reply to a request for comment.