The Russian defense ministry said Friday it launched strikes on a Ukrainian plant near Kyiv that makes anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles.
The strikes hit hours after Russia confirmed its flagship in the Black Sea had sunk, a major blow to its naval forces.
Russia said it was responding to “terrorist attacks and acts of sabotage” on its territory, as Moscow accuses Ukraine of attacking its border towns, and said it was ready to increase the number and scale of strikes near the capital despite its pivot to fighting in eastern regions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government issued the threat after Ukrainian forces took credit for sinking the Moskva, a major Russian warship. The Russian state media said the ship sank while being towed in a storm after an ammunitions fire.
Meanwhile, the southern city of Mariupol appeared closer to falling into Russian hands after weeks of devastating attacks, a development that would allow Moscow to forge a land bridge with the Crimean peninsula it annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy revived his pleas for international assistance and called on other countries to stop purchasing Russian energy.
“They have been trying to destroy us for 50 days. 50 days the Ukrainian people heroically resist. We are not afraid of anything, because we know what we are fighting for. We have enough courage to put an end to evil,” he tweeted. “Stop feeding Russian military vehicle. Help Ukraine with weapons. Then peace and goodwill win much faster.”
President Biden on Wednesday said the U.S. will provide more than $800 million in weapons, ammunition and other security aid to Ukraine.
Two Republican lawmakers, Sen. Steve Daines of Montana and Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana, toured parts of Kyiv to review damage and evidence of atrocities, making them the first American officials to visit since the start of the war.
Ms. Spartz was born in Ukraine.
“The sooner we can provide Ukraine with the lethal aid they need to win this war, the sooner we will end the war crimes,” Mr. Daines said. “President Zelenskyy has been urging leaders from around the world to come to Ukraine — I’m proud to help show that America stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ukraine in their fight for freedom.”