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regular-article-logo Monday, 20 May 2024

Kyiv endures third ballistic missile attack by Russia in five days with nine injured

he Pecherskyi district was the hardest hit. Missile debris damaged homes in two districts and a local college gym in another district, Ukraine’s National Police said

AP/PTI, Reuters Kyiv Published 26.03.24, 06:43 AM
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Russia launched missiles against Kyiv for the third time in five days Monday as Moscow escalated its aerial bombardment of Ukrainian cities while the front line in the war remains largely stationary.

Nine people were injured in the strike on the Ukrainian capital, the Ukraine Rescue Service said. The Pecherskyi district was the hardest hit. Missile debris damaged homes in two districts and a local college gym in another district, Ukraine’s National Police said.

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Russia fired two ballistic missiles at Kyiv from occupied Crimea in the daylight attack, but both were intercepted above the city, said Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv City Military Administration.

On Thursday, Russia attacked Kyiv for the first time in six weeks, firing more than two dozen missiles before dawn. On Friday, Russia unleashed a massive attack against Ukraine’s energy sector, calling the assault retaliation for recent strikes on Russian soil.

Days of intense Ukrainian shelling of Belgorod led Russia to announce plans to evacuate about 9,000 children.

The bombardment of Kyiv also came three days after a concert hall attack in Russia killed more than 130 people. Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to tie the attack to Ukraine, even though an affiliate of the Islamic
State group claimed responsibility.

Putin could use the Moscow attack to shore up support for the war and as a pretext to escalate attacks on Ukraine, analysts said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky renewed his appeal for western partners to provide more air defence systems to protect against the unrelenting attacks.

“We never tire of repeating that Ukraine needs more air defence,” he said.

“This is security for our cities and saves human lives.”

Missile debris

A three-storey building in central Kyiv was badly damaged in a Russian missile attack on Monday morning that saw missile debris fall in three other districts of the city, officials said.

A string of explosions rang out across Kyiv and a reporter saw a column of smoke rising in the east of the city.

“In the (central) Pechersk district, a multi-storey non-residential building was damaged,” the city’s military administration wrote on the Telegram messenger.

It had described the building as residential in an earlier statement.

Two people were hurt, mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

Debris also came down in the Solomyansky, Holosiyvsky and Dnipro districts, the administration said.

US ambassador to Kyiv Bridget Brink said Russia had used hypersonic missiles to attack the Ukrainian capital.

“Over the last five days, Russia has launched hundreds of missiles and drones against a sovereign country,” she said.

Ukraine’s air force had warned in a Telegram message moments before the explosions that a missile was flying towards the city.

“Explosions in the capital. Urgently to the shelter!” Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote on the Telegram messenger.

Russia has dramatically stepped up its missile strikes on Ukraine in recent days.

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