Russia has targeted a number of sites in Ukraine that have been used for Western weapons deliveries, local officials said, as the Biden administration rejected demands from Moscow to stop arming Ukraine.
A Ukrainian railway official reported that five stations were struck by Russian shells and 16 trains were delayed. According to Politico, the railway sites were used to facilitate weapons transfers to Kiev.
Russian strikes in the central Vynnytsia region left five people dead and 18 injured, Ukrainian officials said, while a rail facility near the city of Lviv caught fire following a missile attack.
In a separate event over the weekend, Russia says it targeted a hub for NATO weapons near an airstrip in Odessa. Russian military spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said missiles targeted a site where “a large batch of foreign weapons received from the United States and European countries was stored.” Officials in Odessa disputed the Russian narrative, however, instead claiming some missiles were intercepted and that others struck civilian buildings and caused casualties.
Though Moscow has repeatedly warned Washington against shipping weapons to Kiev – with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stating that NATO is “engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy” – White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters the administration had rebuffed the Kremlin’s request on Monday.
With the fight moving to Ukraine’s far eastern Donbass region, its transportation infrastructure will likely be critical to Kiev’s war effort. The West is also moving heavier weapons into the area, including armored vehicles and howitzers, making railways key for logistics.
While the Biden administration claims the weapons are headed for the front lines and are essential to resist Russian advances, a US official recently told CNN that the White House cannot track weapons once they enter Ukraine, saying they drop “into a big black hole” soon after arriving.