An Iskander ballistic missile launch.
© Sputnik / Russian Defence MinistryAn Iskander ballistic missile launch.
A total of 34 such operations were conducted over the past week, the military has said.

Russian forces have delivered 34 long-range strikes on Ukrainian targets since last Saturday, the Defense Ministry in Moscow reported on Friday, during a weekly summary.

The attacks have been carried out "in response to attempts by the Kiev regime to cause damage to Russian energy and industrial sites," the statement said. Russian missiles were launched from ground, aerial and seaborne platforms, as well as from drones.

The ministry said it targeted "objects of energy industry, military industrial facilities, railway infrastructure, air defense systems, weapons depots and fuel storage facilities" used by the Ukrainian military.
"Damage was also inflicted on centers training drone operators and sites where Ukrainian troops, nationalist formations and foreign mercenaries were stationed," the ministry reported.
In January, Ukraine began regularly launching long-range kamikaze drones at oil refineries and other key energy sites deep inside Russia.

The change of tactic reportedly caused tensions between Kiev and its key donor, the US. According to Western media, the administration of President Joe Biden is concerned that a serious decrease in Russian fuel manufacturing would cause a surge in gas prices in the US, potentially undermining his chances for reelection in November.

This month, Russia began attacking Ukrainian electricity-generating facilities that it had previously spared. DTEK, the private company that owns most of the thermal plants in Ukraine, said some 80% of its capacity had been disabled in a recent wave of strikes. Moscow also hit Ukrainian hydroelectric power plants.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that his government had refrained from such attacks during wintertime due to humanitarian considerations, but otherwise the retaliation was inevitable due to Kiev's actions.

Ukrainian officials have been urging Western arms donors to provide additional air defense systems in response to the escalation.

Kiev's troops are reportedly being pushed back in multiple locations along the conflict frontline. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Wednesday blamed insufficient aid from Western countries for the military setbacks.