Russian defense ministry says it has hit Ukrainian targets with submarine strikes
Russia used cruise missiles to target Ukrainian military infrastructure in submarine strikes, the country’s defense ministry announced on Friday.
“The crew of a diesel-electric submarine of the Black Sea Fleet from the Black Sea carried out a salvo launch of Kalibr cruise missiles at the military infrastructure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the Russian defense ministry said in a post on Telegram.
It was not immediately clear if Ukraine had responded to Russia’s claims.
According to the Russian Interfax news agency, it is the first time Russia has said that Ukrainian targets have been attacked by its submarines, Reuters noted.
British defense officials warned Thursday that 20 Russian Navy vessels, including submarines, were in the Black Sea operational zone and retained “the ability to strike Ukrainian and coastal targets.”
Moscow confirmed earlier this month that the flagship of its Black Sea fleet, the Moskva, sank after being damaged in a fire. Ukrainian and U.S. officials have said the missile cruiser was hit by Ukrainian missiles.
The development comes amid Russia’s renewed military push in southern and eastern Ukraine.
President Biden on Thursday called for Congress to authorize $33 billion for aid to Ukraine, including for military support, economic assistance geared toward Ukraine’s government and humanitarian assistance.
In an interview with CNN following Biden’s request to Congress, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States was a “key enabler” in Ukraine’s success against Ukraine.
“[Putin’s] forces have been pushed out of large parts of the country. His forces have lost the battle of Kyiv. His forces have been forced to concentrate in the south and the east. The fact is that Ukrainians have been able, with their grit and determination and courage, have been able to repel Russian forces. They are winning these battles,” he said.
“But the key enabler, a key enabler in all of this has been the massive amount of security assistance that we have been able to provide, $3.8 billion from the United States alone since Feb. 24, when the invasion began,” Price added.