Romania denies allegations of violation of its airspace by a Russian missile

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A new wave of Russian missile strikes on Ukraine has left several cities without power, including Zaporizhzhya and Kharkiv. Meanwhile, Moldova summoned the Russian ambassador after one of the cruise missiles overflew the country. 

Air raid sirens sounded early on February 10, 2023, advising people to reach bomb shelters.  

Hours later, the first strikes were reported in the eastern region of Kharkiv and the southern Zaporizhzhia region. The attacks mainly targeted energy infrastructure, according to the Ukrainian electricity operator Ukrenergo.  

‘Unfortunately, several high-voltage infrastructures were affected in the Eastern, Western and Southern regions, which led to power outages in some regions,’ Ukrenergo said in a statement. ‘In order to minimize the possible consequences of an attack and preserve the power system, Ukrenergo has taken the necessary preventive measures and emergency shutdowns are being applied.’ 

Several more explosions were reported in Kyiv and Dnipro. The number of casualties is yet to be officially confirmed. 

Ukrainian cities were targeted using various weapon platforms, according to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. These included the Iran-made Shahed-136 kamikaze drones, Kalibr cruise missiles launched from a Russian frigate in the Black Sea, and S-300 anti-aircraft missiles fired from the Russian region of Belgorod and the occupied city of Tokmak. 

While confirming the incursion into Moldova, the Romanian Ministry of Defense denied any entry into Romania’s airspace.  

‘The closest point of the aerial target’s trajectory from the Romanian air space was recorded by the radar systems to be at almost 35 kilometers North-East from the border,’ the ministry said in a press release. ‘Two Romanian Air Force MiG-21 LanceR fighters of the NATO-led Air Policing Service, which were executing a flight exercise at that moment, were redirected to the Northern area of Romania in order to increase the reaction options.’ 

Consequently, the Moldovan authorities summoned the Russian ambassador, Oleg Vasnetsov, to denounce the airspace violation. 

“We strongly reject the recent unfriendly actions and statements in relation to the Republic of Moldova, a fact considered absolutely unacceptable by our people,” said Daniel Vodă, the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement. “We call on the Russian Federation to stop the military aggression against the neighboring country which is causing numerous human casualties and material destruction.”  

This is not the first instance of Russian missiles infringing on Moldovan territory during strikes on Ukrainian cities. On October 31, 2022, debris from a Russian missile targeted at the Ukrainian Dniester hydroelectric station fell on the Moldovan village of Naslavcea after it was intercepted by Ukrainian air defense. 

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