Night strikes took place for the third consecutive night in Ukraine, mainly on its capital Kiev, while Joe Biden carried out Thursday, after participating in a NATO summit, a visit to Finland, a country neighboring Russia.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for his part warned that the F-16 fighter jets delivered to the Ukrainians would be assimilated by Moscow to a Western nuclear threat.
“We will consider the very fact that the Ukrainian armed forces have such systems as a threat from the West in the nuclear field,” he said in this regard in an interview with the online newspaper Lenta.ru.
“Russia cannot ignore the ability of these devices to carry nuclear charges,” insisted the head of Russian diplomacy, assuring that Moscow had informed the United States, the United Kingdom and France.
The Ukrainian air force has meanwhile claimed to have shot down 20 Russian drones and two cruise missiles overnight from Wednesday to Thursday.
Iranian-made Shahed attack drones were destroyed “mainly in the Kyiv region”, she said.
The authorities announced that several people had been injured in the fall of debris from these devices on different districts of the capital. A lifeless body was also discovered in the fire of a residential building, but unrelated to the strikes.
Joe Biden has been in Finland since Wednesday evening, which joined the Atlantic Alliance in April, to end the European tour he started on Sunday evening in London.
The American president had been the day before in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius at a NATO summit, during which the G7 powers pledged to provide long-term military support to Ukraine.
Cooperation with the Nordic countries
During his 24-hour visit to Finland, Mr. Biden is due to meet with his counterpart Sauli Niinistö as well as the leaders of other states in the region.
Thursday’s talks are to focus on “cooperation between the Nordic countries and the United States on security, environment and technology issues”, according to the Finnish presidency.
Turning the page on decades of neutrality demanded by Russia after the Second World War, then of military non-alignment since the end of the Cold War, Finland on April 4 became the 31st member of the Atlantic Alliance, a setback for Moscow.
This country which shares with Russian territory a border of more than 1300 kilometers long was until the invasion of Ukraine an advocate of dialogue between Westerners and Russia.
The visit by the US president comes after NATO leaders dashed the hopes of Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Zelensky, who wanted a clear timetable for joining the Alliance, saying they would not would invite Ukraine to become a member only when “the conditions are met”.
After sharply reproaching NATO leaders on Tuesday for not having set a timetable for Ukraine’s integration into this organization, President Volodymyr Zelensky took care the next day to smooth things over on the second and last day of the summit of the Atlantic Alliance, multiplying the messages of thanks for the “enormous help” received by Ukraine.
Australia also reinforced its support for kyiv on the sidelines of this summit, pledging to send 30 Bushmaster armored infantry vehicles.
Third night of attacks
On the ground in Ukraine, the air force announced that it had “successfully carried out an air defense operation”.
She assured that “twenty Shahed drones” of Iranian manufacture had been destroyed, “all those who flew”, mainly in the Kiev region, as well as “two Kalibr cruise missiles”.
Debris fell in five neighborhoods, the capital’s military administration said, reporting that a 19-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man had been hospitalized.
Two people were injured in the Darnytsky district “as a result of falling debris”, said Sergiy Popko, head of kyiv’s military administration. It was not known if they were the same two people.
“In the Podilsky district, while fighting a fire in an apartment building, the body of a deceased person was found,” Vitali Kitschko said on Telegram.
This article is originally published on ledevoir.com