Monday, April 15, 2024

Poland Gets Ready for War as Russia Attacks Massively on Western Ukraine and Kyiv

HomeWARPoland Gets Ready for War as Russia Attacks Massively on Western Ukraine...

Thunder shook the pre-dawn skies over Kyiv and the western city of Lviv as Russia unleashed another massive barrage of missile and drone strikes across Ukraine on Sunday. The brazen bombardment marked a dangerous escalation in Moscow’s aerial assault, with potential tremors felt as far as NATO territory.

Bleary-eyed residents of the Ukrainian capital were jolted awake by the sound of explosions reverberating through the city shortly after 5 a.m. Air raid sirens wailed, warning of yet another onslaught from Russian weaponry raining down from the skies.

“Explosions in the capital! Air defense is working. Do not leave shelters,” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko urged on Telegram amid the barrage. Sodium vapor lamps bathed the streets in an otherworldly glow as ambulances raced to attend to any casualties.

Ukraine’s air defenses managed to shoot down around a dozen of the Russian cruise missiles targeting Kyiv, according to preliminary reports. But the attacks kept coming in waves.

“The enemy fired missiles at the capital in groups, in another pre-dawn attack, the third in just four days,” said Serhiy Popko, head of Kyiv’s military administration. “It continues its terror campaign, stubbornly aiming to destroy Kyiv at any cost.”

Farther west near the Polish border, the city of Lviv reported being struck by around 20 missiles and 7 Iranian-made Shahed drones. The strikes targeted critical infrastructure facilities around the one-time refuge for those fleeing the front lines.

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“They are trying to demoralize us, to spread fear and panic among the population,” said Oleksandr Yaroslavskyi, a 36-year-old IT worker in Lviv. “But Ukrainians have already steeled themselves against such tactics from the enemy. We will endure this terror.”

Waves of Strikes and Counterstrikes

The punishing Russian missile and drone offensive came on the heels of a spate of strikes from both sides over the last several days that appeared to take the war to new depths of intensity and geographic scope.

On Saturday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said it repelled multiple Ukrainian missile and drone attacks targeting Crimea and the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine. The governor of Belgorod reported two civilians killed and several others wounded when the Ukrainian strikes collapsed balconies on an apartment building.

Ukraine has vowed to strike deeper into Russian rear areas and supply lines in response to Moscow’s months-long bombardment campaign against the country’s energy infrastructure and urban centers. Explosions rocked a major Russian oil refinery in Samara and other sites on Saturday in the latest such cross-border attacks.

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The rhetoric and strikes by both capitals suggest a new and potentially more hazardous phase of the nearly 14-month conflict, with neither side willing to pause the hostilities that have already killed tens of thousands and reduced cities to rubble.

Poland’s Alert Status Raised

As the western Ukrainian city of Lviv absorbed the brunt of Sunday’s bombardment, alarm bells also began ringing in neighboring Poland. The Polish military reported going to a heightened state of readiness due to Russia’s “intensive long-range aviation activity” in the region.

“Polish and allied aircraft have been activated, which may result in increased noise levels, especially in the south-eastern part of the country,” the Polish Armed Forces Operational Command stated.

They claimed one of the Russian cruise missiles fired toward Lviv violated Polish airspace for 39 seconds near the border town of Osieck, though few other details were provided.

Any stray munitions or misplaced strikes spilling into NATO territory could rapidly escalate the conflict, potentially drawing the military alliance into direct confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia.

Global Fallout Intensifies

The renewed cycle of intensified violence and rising threat of geographic spillover further shook international markets and supply chains already buckling under the strain of Europe’s largest land conflict since World War II.

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Interruptions to crucial grain shipments and energy supplies from the fertile Black Sea region have dramatically increased grocery bills and fuel costs worldwide over the past year. Any widening of hostilities or expansion of the regional battlespace risks exacerbating those economic shocks reverberating across the globe.

Despite occasional bouts of rhetoric from Kyiv and Moscow about pursuing diplomatic solutions, little evidence has emerged of either capital seriously exploring off-ramps to de-escalate the bloody attrition warfare that has killed tens of thousands on both sides.

Russia has touted recent gains like the capture of settlements near Bakhmut as signs of a revived military effort after months of grinding territorial stalemate in eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces have warned they are mustering a looming spring counteroffensive to retake more ground and potentially strike deeper into Russian-occupied Crimea.

As civilian populations bear the trauma of relentless bombardment, neither military appears willing to deviate from a path of perpetual escalation – a reality that is felt most acutely in places like Kyiv on days like Sunday when the air raid sirens blare.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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