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Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

In response to accusations from the White House claiming that Russia utilized North Korean missiles in recent attacks on Ukraine, Kyiv stated on Friday that it could not yet confirm the allegations.

The United States alleged that Moscow, facing shortages in key munitions nearly two years into its invasion of Ukraine, was seeking missiles from its ally Iran. Despite the serious claims made by the U.S. National Security Council, Ukraine emphasized the need for independent verification, stating, “So far, we have no information that such missiles have been used.”

Ukraine’s air force spokesman, Yuriy Ignat, informed state media that experts would examine the wreckage before confirming or refuting the allegations. The missiles in question, supplied by North Korea and reportedly with a range of around 900 kilometers (550 miles), were said to have been fired by Russia in two separate attacks on Ukraine within the past week.

The U.S. National Security Council characterized these alleged deliveries as a “significant and concerning escalation.” The situation further highlights the challenges faced by both Kyiv and Moscow in replenishing stockpiles of essential military resources amid their prolonged conflict.

In the ongoing war, marked by a protracted conflict and a struggle to secure crucial supplies, Russia reportedly launched North Korean-supplied missiles on December 30. One missile landed in an open field in the Zaporizhzhia region, a territory claimed by the Kremlin in 2020 but not fully under its control.

The United States emphasized the urgent need for Congress to pass a vital military aid package for Ukraine, particularly focusing on air defenses. The U.S. National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby, stressed that the absence of this support could jeopardize Ukraine’s defense capabilities. He pointed out that Russia had reportedly attacked Ukraine with nearly 30 Iranian-designed attack drones overnight, with Ukraine claiming to have downed 21 of them.

Despite the heightened tensions, Kyiv has significantly strengthened its air defense systems compared to the previous winter when Russian strikes on energy infrastructure left millions without power for extended periods. The conflict continues with both sides engaged in strategic maneuvers, including Russia’s defense ministry claiming to have repelled a Ukrainian attack over Crimea. The situation underscores the complexity and urgency of the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

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