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Ukraine conflict: Russia escalates with missile strikes

Russia launched multiple missile attacks on the sixth day of its invasion of Ukraine, as a 65 km long convoy assembled 25-30 km from Kyiv. Meanwhile, Russian forces reportedly shelled Mariupol and entered Kherson in southern Ukraine as they tried to create a corridor to Crimea.

Media reported that the targets of Russian missile attacks included an administration building in Kharkiv and the TV tower in central Kyiv. A senior US defence official said the Pentagon had observed more than 400 Russian missile launches as of 1 March, including cruise missiles. The official also noted, “The airspace over Ukraine continues to be contested. The Russians do not have air superiority over the entire country, but there are areas where they have more control than others. And the same goes for the Ukrainians [whose] missile-defence systems remain viable and intact and engaging.”

The official thought that part of the reason for the 65 km long convoy's “stall could be as a result of their own self-determined sort of pause, and operations that they are possibly regrouping, rethinking, re-evaluating.” Asked why the convoy has not been attacked, the official explained that the Russians are “trying to protect that as best they can”, raising the possibility of aircraft patrolling overhead.

While not able to confirm Russia's use of thermobaric weapons, the official said, “We have seen inside Ukraine the kinds of launchers that could be used for those weapons.”

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