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Ukraine Russia conflict escalating rapidly

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The conflict in Ukraine has drastically intensified within the last day, starting with Ukrainian forces shelling a village located in Russia. The town of Kilmovo, in Russia’s Bryansk Region situated 10km north of the front line was the focus of an attack which killed seven people, 

including a pregnant woman and a child. 

Russian National Investigative Committee outlined in a statement that two Ukrainian helicopters had crossed into Russian airspace, firing heavy weapons at the village. They are treating the incident as a criminal conspiracy.

A separate attack was also carried out hitting the Novye Yurkovichi checkpoint, located 40km southwest of Klimovo. Two vehicles were damaged in the strike, however no casualties were reported. Later the same day a third shelling attack was carried out striking the town of Zhuralevka, causing damage to infrastructure and wounding an unspecified number of civilians. 

Post the attacks the Belgord region was placed under a state of emergency and the settlements, near the border, are being evacuated. 

The Russian Defence Ministry gave a dire warning earlier in the week, that the conflict may escalate and even target “decision-making centers” in Kiev, unless Ukrainian attacks on targets in Russian territory stop. 

Major-General Igor Konashenkov stated :

“We have seen attempts at sabotage and attacks by the Ukrainian military against facilities in Russian territory. If such attempts continue, the Russian Federation’s Armed Forces will strike at the decision-making centers, including Kiev – something we have so far refrained from.”

To make matters even worse the Russian missile cruiser Moskva, flagship of the Black Sea fleet, sank while being towed into port. An explosion on board the ship caused damage to the hull, which inevitably sunk in rough seas however the 

crew managed to escape in tact. Russian state media made no mention of any projectile striking the ship that it had been merely an accident. However Odessa military spokesman Sergey Bratchuk claimed that the ship was damaged by “Neptune domestic cruise missiles.”

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has also warned that if Sweden and Finland decide to join NATO, Russia would be left with no alternative but to “reinforce these borders. He went on to state that “in this case, it would not be possible to talk any more about the Baltic non-nuclear status. The balance has to be restored.” This would be indicate that Russia would feel obligated to deploy nuclear weapons to the region if this were to occur.

Due to the war in Ukraine both Finland and Sweden are considering overhauling long-held policies of military non-alignment, with Finland deciding this week whether it will join NATO and Sweden within coming weeks. Putin invaded Ukraine partly because of Kiev’s intentions to join NATO, and isn’t likely to look kindly on its Nordic neighbours trying to do the same.

There has been a significant escalation in the conflict, with air raid alerts sounded across the entire country of Ukraine, warning of an imminent attack. Media outlet Nexta tweeted 

that there had been an “an air-raid alert on the entire territory of Ukraine”.

This response from Russia is either due to the attacks within their own territory, or the loss of the Mosvka. Clint Ehrlich tweeted that “if Ukraine has really sunk the Mosvka, expect immediate escalation from Moscow.”

“There will be a political imperative for the Kremlin to push this setback from the headlines with positive news. We may see large-scale strategic bombing, something Russia has held back on to date.”

There has been reports of explosions in various regions since the air raid alerts were issued, with multiple videos appearing online showing explosions and fires across Ukraine.

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