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Missiles hit Kyiv homes, school

Up to four explosions shook central Kyiv in the early hours
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin
File Picture

Reuters   |   Kyiv   |   Published 27.06.22, 02:35 AM

Russian missiles hit an apartment block and kindergarten in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Sunday, as world leaders gathered in Europe to discuss further sanctions against Moscow.

Up to four explosions shook central Kyiv in the early hours, in the first such attack on the city in weeks. Two more blasts were heard on the southern outskirts of the city later in the day, a Reuters reporter said.

“The Russians hit Kyiv again. Missiles damaged an apartment building and a kindergarten,” said Andriy Yermak, head of the President’s administration.

A Reuters photographer saw a large blast crater by a playground in a private kindergarten that had smashed windows.

Ukraine’s police chief, Ihor Klymenko, said on national television that five people had been wounded, and police later said one person was killed.

As Europe’s biggest land conflict since World War Two entered its fifth month, the Western alliance supporting Kyiv was starting to show signs of strain as leaders fret about the growing economic cost, including surging food and energy prices.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the West needed to maintain a united front against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The price of backing down, the price of allowing Putin to succeed, to hack off huge parts of Ukraine, to continue with his programme of conquest, that price will be far, far higher,” he told reporters.

Life had been returning to normal in Kyiv after fierce resistance held off Russian advances in the early phase of the war, although air raid sirens regularly sound across the city.

There had been no major strikes on Kyiv since early June.

The city’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said on the Telegram messaging app that Sunday’s strike had partially destroyed a nine-storey apartment building in the historic Shevchenkivskiy district of central Kyiv and caused a fire.

“There are people under the rubble,” Klitschko said. “They have pulled out a seven-year-old girl. She is alive. Now they’re trying to rescue her mother.”

A Ukrainian air force spokesperson said the strike was carried out with between four to six long-range missiles fired from Russian bombers more than 1,000 kilometres away in the southern Russian region of Astrakhan.

He said some of the incoming missiles were shot down.

Russia’s defence ministry said it had used high-precision weapons to strike Ukrainian army training centres in the regions of Chernihiv, Zhytomyr and Lviv, an apparent reference to strikes reported by Ukraine on Saturday.

There was no immediate comment about Sunday’s strikes on Kyiv. 

Explosions were also heard on Sunday in the central city of Cherkasy, which has been largely untouched by bombardment so far, regional governor Oleksandr Skichko said on Telegram.

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