Russia Warned Of ‘unpredictable Consequences’ For US Support Of Ukraine As Its Forces Struck The Outskirts Of Kyiv With A Cruise Missile

Russia Warned Of ‘unpredictable Consequences’ For US Support Of Ukraine As Its Forces Struck The Outskirts Of Kyiv With A Cruise Missile

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2 hr 46 min agoRussia warned US of “unpredictable consequences” if weapons shipments to Ukraine continue, sources say From CNN’s Natasha Bertrand, Kaitlan Collins, Evan Perez and Kylie Atwood

Ukrainian servicemen load a truck with American FGM-148 Javelins as they arrive at the Boryspil airport in Kyiv, on February 11. (Sergei/Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)Russia this week formally protested the US’ ongoing shipment of weapons to Ukraine, sending a diplomatic note to the State Department warning of “unpredictable consequences” should the support continue, according to two US officials and another source familiar with the document.

The note, known as a démarche, was sent earlier this week as the administration was preparing to announce that it would be sending a new military aid package worth $800 million to the Ukrainians. The Washington Post first reported on the document. 

The US has for the first time agreed to provide Kyiv with the types of high-power capabilities some officials in US President Joe Biden’s administration viewed as too much of an escalation risk a few short weeks ago, including 11 Mi-17 helicopters, 18 155 mm Howitzer cannons and 300 more Switchblade drones.

A source familiar with the Russian diplomatic note said it was expected that Moscow would protest the shipments, and it was still unclear whether it means Russia will change their behavior in any way. But this person acknowledged that it could signal a more aggressive Russian posture against the US and NATO as the war drags on. 

CNN previously reported that the United States believes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s risk tolerance has increased, and that he may be willing to take more aggressive action against the US in response to its support for Ukraine. 

Asked for comment, a US official said “we won’t confirm any private diplomatic correspondence. What we can confirm is that, along with Allies and partners, we are providing Ukraine with billions of dollars worth of security assistance, which our Ukrainian partners are using to extraordinary effect to defend their country against Russia’s unprovoked aggression and horrific acts of violence.”

3 hr 2 min agoRussian long-range bombers struck Mariupol, Ukrainian Ministry of Defense says From CNN’s Yulia Kesaieva in Lviv

Col. Oleksandr Motuzianyk, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, said Friday that Russian long-range bombers struck the besieged city of Mariupol.

“On April 14, two Russian strategic heavy bombers Tu-95/-160 have launched cruise missiles hitting the territory of Ukraine from Krasnodar Krai of Russian Federation airspace,” he said. “Also for the first time from the start of the armed aggression bombs were dropped by a long-range bombers Tu-22M3. This airstrike took place, hitting Mariupol.”Separately, Oleh Syniehubov, the head of Kharkiv region military administration, said Friday Ukrainian forces had downed a Russian Ka-52 attack helicopter, killing the Russian crew. 

3 hr 42 min agoUkrainian Armed Forces say Russia is striking the south in retaliation of Moskva warship sinkingFrom CNN’s Tim Lister and Olga Voitovych 

A man checks the damage to a building from Russian missile attacks, in Mykolaiv, on Apr. 15 (CNN)A spokesperson for the Ukrainian Armed Forces in southern Ukraine suggested that Russian missile attacks in the south since Thursday night were in retaliation for the sinking of the Russian cruiser Moskva.

Natalia Humeniuk said the attack had “affected not only [Russia’s] ships, but also the enemy’s imperial ambitions.”

She told a media briefing Friday that after the attack on the Moskva, “we all realize that we will not be forgiven.”

Ukraine said two of its anti-ship missiles hit the Moskva, while the Kremlin has said only that a fire on board led to the eventual capsizing of the flagship of its Black Sea fleet.  

Humeniuk said that “when the ammunition detonated, that showed they had been loaded enough to keep destroying Ukraine. …The impact led to the detonation of ammunition, they started struggling for survival.” 

“We saw other ships try to help the cruiser, but even the nature was on Ukraine’s side, because the storm did not allow to carry out either a rescue operation or evacuate personnel,” she continued.

Humeniuk referenced Russian missile attacks in the south since Thursday night after the Moskva attack.

“Currently there is an attack in Mykolaiv. We see that this is again the use of cluster munitions prohibited by international conventions,” she said.

A CNN team in Mykolaiv Friday heard multiple rounds of explosions in the morning between 10:20 a.m. and 12 p.m. local time. At least two people were killed in front of an Orthodox church in the city.

Humeniuk said that the situation in Mykolaiv and Kherson regions “is characterized by the fact that the enemy uses its brutal manners in the placing of equipment and units in-between the local civilians and the civilian infrastructure like schools, kindergartens, hospitals, and the yards of local residents.”

“Then at night they disappear from these positions, leave the villages and shell them, while accusing the Ukrainian Armed Forces of shelling civilians,” she said.

“Such actions are conducted in order to justify their status of liberators in the occupied territories,” she added.

“We realize that attacks on us will increase, that the enemy will try to take revenge,” Humeniuk said. “We are ready, we are resisting.”

3 hr 13 min agoIn Kramatorsk, CNN reporter describes the aftermath of the deadly train station missile attackFrom CNN’s Ben Wedeman In Kramatorsk

Note: This post contains graphic imagery.

At 10:30 a.m. local time last Friday, as many as 4,000 people in and around the train station in Kramatorsk were waiting to be evacuated when a missile exploded overhead, raining down chunks of metal. Shrapnel ripped through the crowd, which was largely composed of women, children and the elderly. The latest death toll is more than 50, with more than 100 injured.

When we visited the station 48 hours after the blast, we found the concourse still stained with blood, littered with the scattered possessions of the dead and wounded.

On one platform, we found a large pool of congealed blood in a shrapnel impact point with several false teeth nearby. Someone, probably an elderly person, must have been hit and killed there.

City officials believe Kramatorsk could be surrounded, besieged and pulverized by Russian forces if and when the much-anticipated offensive in the east gathers pace.

The mayor had been urging residents to leave, and prior to last Friday’s strike around 8,000 people a day were boarding westbound trains. The evacuation effort had been publicly announced, with people from surrounding towns and villages urged to gather at the railway station in Kramatorsk, which was the major regional hub. There was nothing secret about it.

Russia has denied targeting the station, claiming the missile — a Tochka-U — is no longer used by Russian forces, and alleging that it was a Ukrainian missile that hit the station. Military analysts dismiss the claim.

Part of the missile crashed into a small park in front of the station. Someone, somewhere wrote on it in Russian “for the children.”

While tagging and writing slogans on missiles, bombs and shells is a very old tradition, it is not for certain what the intended message was.

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