Ukrainian officials reported missile strikes away from the front lines of the Russian invasion Sunday bolstering their calls for Western allies to extend intervention efforts.
The city of Vinnytsia is located to the southwest of the capital city of Kyiv and is intersected by the M-30 highway that connects it directly to Lviv. Sunday, eight Russian cruise missile allegedly struck this large city and destroyed the local airport.
Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba shared a video on Twitter that is said to be one of the eight missiles on its course to strike the city.
Eight Russian cruise missiles hit Vinnytsia, a large city far from the frontline. Putin continues his cowardly & barbaric missile strikes, air bombardment of civilians. Help us close the sky and save lives! Provide air and missile defense, combat aircraft! Stop Russian terrorism! pic.twitter.com/oXXoYrxr4m
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 6, 2022
“Putin continues his cowardly & barbaric missile strikes, air bombardment of civilians,” Kuleba wrote. “Help us close the sky and save lives!” he implored restating the Ukrainian desire to institute a no-fly zone in their air space.
“Provide air and missile defense, combat aircraft!” Kuleba went on, “Stop Russian terrorism!”
Shortly after Kuleba posted the video and expressed his desire for greater foreign aid, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shared a video reacting to news of the strike.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 6, 2022
Calling Vinnytsia a peaceful city that posed no threat to Russia, Zelenskyy referred to the strike that destroyed the airport as “brutal.”
“They continue total destruction of our infrastructure,” Zelenskyy stated, “our life built by us, our parents and grandparents, generations of Ukrainians…” before demanding, “Close the sky over Ukraine!”
Zelenskyy said the air space needed to be turned into a “humanitarian air zone” free of Russian aircraft, missiles, rockets and bombs. He went on to call it the “humanitarian duty” of the West “to protect us, to protect people,” and asserted it was well within the capability of the allies.
Witnesses documented the destruction in Vinnytsia with close up photographs of the airport and video from the highway showing the towering plumes of smoke were the missiles struck.
Damage to Vinnytsia airport after the cruise missile strikes earlier today pic.twitter.com/cYEAbNchT6
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) March 6, 2022
‼️ Urgent appeal by President @ZelenskyyUa: a missile strike on #Vinnytsia consisted of eight missiles; the airport is completely destroyed.
The President called on the world to close the skies over #Ukraine and provide Ukraine with aircraft. pic.twitter.com/0s8nUneRZP
— Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (@ua_parliament) March 6, 2022
Citizens in Ukraine continued their use of the hashtag “#CloseTheSky” to echo the sentiment that the airstrikes and shelling need to be brought to an end. One replied directly to a statement issued by President Joe Biden who chose today, March 6, to issue a statement commemorating the anniversary of Bloody Sunday which occurred on March 7, 1965.
@POTUS Today there was a nissile strike at Vinnytsia – 8 missiles. Against our peaceful Vinnytsia, which has never posed a threat to Russia. In any way. Vinnytsia – it is my city. City where I was born, grew up, studied and so on. I afraid the sky. I want to live. #CloseTheSky
— Вероніка Третяк (@VeronikaTretiak) March 6, 2022
The strike against Vinnytsia was also used to further compel corporations and financial institutions to take whatever actions they could to ostracize and punish Russia.
After Visa and MasterCard suspended all operations with Russia, PayPal informed Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov that they too would shut down services with the invading nation. Fedorov then encouraged Apple and Google to “do more for peace” calling out their CEOs by name and publishing official letters addressed to them.
The tweet has since been removed.
As of Friday 480 missiles had been fired by Russia at Ukraine according to India TV. As the attacks continue, Zelenskyy signaled once more that failure to act against the continued aggression would result in Western leaders sharing the blame for every casualty.
“If you do not do that, if you at least do not give us aircraft for us to be able to protect ourselves,” Zelenskyy said of plans to obtain MiGs from Poland, “there can only be one conclusion: You also want us to be slowly killed. This is also the responsibility of the world’s politicians. Western leaders. Today and forever.”
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