Russia says Ukrainian forces fired ballistic missiles into Kherson

Russia says Ukrainian forces fired ballistic missiles into Kherson

Russia s Defense Ministry says Kiev forces have fired a barrage of missiles, including ballistic Tochka-U rockets, at the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine.

Russia s Defense Ministry claimed on Thursday that Ukrainian forces fired more than a dozen missiles overnight at the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine, which was seized by Russian troops in early March. The ministry said Russian air defenses intercepted the rockets.

Moscow said on Wednesday that the Ukrainian military launched at least two Tochka-U ballistic missiles and 12 missiles from a high-powered multiple rocket launcher, apparently targeting residential areas of Kherson. The Russian forces deployed in the city shot down the incoming rockets. A video released by the Russian Defense Ministry appears to show the aftermath of the shelling, with what looks like missile debris seen in the footage.

The attack was branded a war crime, and the criminal, indiscriminate strike by the nationalists targeted residential areas along Ushakov Avenue, as well as nurseries, schools and other social infrastructure, according to the ministry. The statement states that the attack was a direct violation of international humanitarian law.

On Thursday, several Russian media outlets reported that Ukrainian missiles targeted a television tower that relays Russian TV channels. The tower did not sustain any visible damage in the shelling, but Russian channels went off air in the immediate aftermath of the attack, according to reports. Access to those TV channels has been restored, according to Russia's RIA Novosti news agency. According to initial media reports, three Tochka-U tactical ballistic missiles were fired, two of which were intercepted by Russian forces.

The Ukrainian military hasn't made a statement on the incident.

Russian forces announced on March 2 that they were in full control of Kherson after a week of fighting.

Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, after Kiev failed to implement the terms of the Minsk peace agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state. The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join NATO. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was an unprovoked act of war and has denied planning to take the two republics by force.