Published On: Mon, Sep 18th, 2023
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Moscow building stock of missiles for a winter attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure | World | News

Russia is stockpiling cruise missiles ready to unleash a winter bombardment on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, the Ministry of Defence believes.

British intelligence claimed Russia has cut back the use of its air-launched cruise missiles (ALCM) but has increased making them.

The MoD said: “Since April 2023, ALCM expenditure rates have reduced while Russian leaders have highlighted efforts to increase the rate of cruise missile production.

“Russian is, therefore, likely to be able to generate a significant stockpile of ALCMs. There is a realistic possibility that Russia will again focus these weapons against Ukrainian infrastructure targets.”

Germany’s foreign minister Annalena Baerbock has warned Russia wants to “starve” people and “let them freeze to death” this
winter by targeting its energy facilities with airstrikes. President Volodymyr Zelensky has admitted Ukraine faces a “difficult” time.

Hinting at a repeat of last winter, the MoD said Russia focused its long-range strikes against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure between October last year and March.

It used strategic bomber aircraft to release rockets from “deep within Russian territory”, it said.

Vladimir Putin’s forces yesterday hit an agricultural facility in Odesa in a drone and missile attack. Six Iranian-made Shahed drones and 10 cruise missiles were launched but the drones and six of the missiles were intercepted by Ukraine forces.

The strikes came hours after two cargo ships docked in the port, using a temporary Black Sea corridor to export grain.

They are the first civilian vessels to reach Odesa since Russia ended the deal, which allowed safe passage of produce.

Ukraine exports almost a third of the world’s grain, 45 percent of the world’s sunflower oil and is also the third largest producer of corn, barley and rapeseed.

The exports are essential as food for people and animals, with any disruption adding to food prices.

The ships are scheduled to take 20,000 tons of wheat to countries in Africa and Asia.

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