Sergei Shoigu’s first reaction after Russia attacked cities in Ukraine on Friday morning

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Sergei Shoigu, Russian Defense Minister. Photo: Profimedia Images

After Russian missile strikes killed at least five people in Ukraine on Friday morning, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the real goal of Western allies in Ukraine was the “strategic failure” of his country. The Guardian notes.

Russia’s RIA news agency quoted Sergei Shoigu as saying that the West aims to threaten China and maintain its own monopoly position. “Almost all” NATO member states have now deployed their military capabilities against Russia, Řoigu added, as quoted by RIA.

Russia struck cities in Ukraine on Friday morning, killing at least five people in a wide swath from the capital Kiev to central and southern regions, local media and officials said.

Russian forces have made little progress in their winter offensive, as Ukrainian forces are expected to launch an offensive soon with new military equipment, including tanks, received from its Western allies.

Russian forces have been trying for 10 months to penetrate what is left of Bahmut, a town of 70,000 people, after suffering a series of setbacks since the start of the conflict. Russia sees Bakhmut as a key crossing point to other cities in eastern Ukraine and is currently its main military objective.

Friday’s Russian strikes came a day after the Kremlin said it welcomed any attempt to end the conflict, citing a phone call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It was the first time the leaders had spoken since Russia invaded Ukraine last February. But the Kremlin insisted it had not yet achieved the goals of its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

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