Russia launched yet another wave of air strikes against Ukraine overnight, but most of the incoming missiles and drones were downed by Ukrainian air defenses, the military and regional officials said on May 26.

An hourslong air-raid alert was declared on the territory of Ukraine overnight as Kyiv and several other regions were subjected to air strikes.

The Russian military fired 17 missiles and 31 Iranian-made attack drones on civilian and military targets, but the Ukrainian air defenses managed to shoot down 10 missiles and 23 drones, Ukraine’s Air Force Command reported early on May 26.

Damage caused by falling debris was reported in Kyiv’s Obolon and Shevchenkivskiy districts, but Serhiy Popko, the head of the capital’s military administration, said there were no reports of injuries or casualties during the three-hour attack on the capital that started around 3 a.m. local time.

It was the 13th such attack on the Ukrainian capital this month.

The Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions were also targeted by the Russian strikes, local officials said.

A man was wounded in the Dnipropetrovsk region during what regional Governor Serhiy Lysak said was an “extremely difficult night” of Russian strikes that caused substantial damage to civilian infrastructure.

The cities of Merefa and Izyum in the Kharkiv region sustained damage in the drone attack, the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration, Oleh Synyehubov said.

On the battlefield, fighting continued in and around the eastern city of Bakhmut, the focal point of the war in eastern Ukraine, the General Staff said in its daily report on May 26, again contradicting Russia’s claims that it had captured the whole city.

On May 25, the top U.S. officer, General Mark Milley, said Russia will not achieve a military victory in Ukraine, forecasting a “hard” and “bloody” fight going forward, as the Ukraine Defense Contact Group of countries supporting Kyiv in its fight against Russia held a virtual meeting.

“This war, militarily, is not going to be won by Russia. It’s just not,” Milley told reporters on May 25 following the meeting.

He added that the Kremlin’s original goals — which included removing the current Ukrainian government — “are not achievable militarily. They’re not going to be done.”

Still, he said, the presence of Russia’s large fighting force in Ukraine will make Kyiv’s attempt to recapture all of its territory, including that seized by Moscow in 2014, not likely to happen “in the near term.”

“That means fighting is going to continue. It’s going to be bloody. It’s going to be hard. And at some point, both sides will either negotiate a settlement or they’ll come to a military conclusion.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who also participated in the virtual conference, said Ukraine’s Western supporters have contributed almost $65 billion in military aid since the start of Russia’s invasion in February 2022.

But high on Kyiv’s agenda now is the delivery of promised F-16 fighter jets, which are more sophisticated than the Soviet-made warplanes now part of its arsenal.

With reporting by RFE/RL’s Russian Service, AFP, and Reuters

Read Source