Ukraine is concerned about a possible Russian missile strike on civilian critical infrastructure

Україна стурбована можливим використанням російських ракет проти критичної інфраструктури

Last week, Ukrainian defense officials went to Washington to ask for more military help. The frozen conflict between Russia and Ukraine has entered a dangerous new phase. More Russian troops have been sent to the Ukrainian border, and strategic bomber flights in the region are up as well.

While Russia has claimed the large-scale deployments don’t foreshadow an invasion, but the Ukrainians say the current buildup and Russia’s recent actions are far from ordinary, reported by Defence One.

“Just a couple of weeks ago, Russia and Belarus developed a joint military doctrine,” said Anatolii Petrenko, Ukraine’s deputy defence minister. “They started patrolling [the] Belarus borders with air patrols, including Russian bombers, strategic bombers like Tupolev [Tu]-160, Tupolev [Tu]-22. And this is atypical.”

“We are concerned about possible use of missiles, which could impact our civil, critical infrastructure. We are very much concerned about tactical operations emanating from Crimea,” he said.

Among Russia’s 100,000 or so troops currently in Ukraine, Petrenko said, many are from the Central Military District or the Western Military District, closest to Ukraine. The heavy naval buildup on the illegally-annexed Crimean Peninsula is also a growing worry.

The Ukrainians are asking for more ground-based air defenses, better air reconnaissance drones, help with offensive cyber operations, and medical support tools.

“We learned the lesson of 2014. You have to save the lives of soldiers. You have to give confidence that if something wrong happens, they will be treated to the best of our ability, and they will be returned to their units or their families with complete rehabilitation,” Petrenko said.

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