Ukraine crisis: Russian airstrikes hit residential building in Kyiv, mayor says – News

Four explosions heard in the capital around 6:30 a.m. local time



By AFP

Published: Sun 26 Jun 2022, 11:41

Russian missile fire hit a residential compound in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Sunday morning, injuring two people and burying others in rubble, city mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

Four explosions were heard around 6:30 a.m. (0330 GMT), half an hour after aerial sirens went off in the capital, which has not been bombed by the Russians for nearly three weeks.

“Several explosions in the Shevchenkivsky district,” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram.

“Ambulances and rescuers are on site. In two buildings, the rescue and evacuation of residents is underway,” he added.

Klitschko, who visited the scene, later said that “there are people under the rubble”.

“Some of the residents were evacuated, two injured were hospitalized,” he added.

A seven-year-old girl was rescued from the rubble, he said.

“She is alive,” he said on Telegram, adding that rescuers were trying to “rescue her mother.”

Klitschko said it was a Russian missile strike meant to “intimidate Ukrainians” ahead of a June 28-30 NATO summit in Madrid.

The state emergency service said on Telegram that “as a result of enemy shelling, a fire broke out in a nine-story building.”

An AFP team reported that a fire had broken out on the top three floors of the building and that its stairwell had been completely destroyed.

Heavy smoke was seen in the affected residential area, which was cordoned off by police.

An AFP colleague living in the same residential complex heard a loud buzz preceding the explosions, which sounded like a missile strike.

Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko said on Telegram that Russia fired 14 missiles at Kyiv and its region on Sunday morning.

Regional Governor Oleksiy Kuleba said on Telegram that “the enemy had struck the capital”.

“A missile was shot down in the Kyiv region, the debris fell on a village,” he added.

Residents of the residential complex gathered at the bottom of the building, many of them in tears. A woman was still wearing a bathrobe.

“They bombed here three times,” 38-year-old resident Yuri, who declined to give his last name, told AFP.

“I woke up to the first explosion, went to the balcony and saw missiles falling and heard a huge explosion – everything vibrated,” he said.

Edouard Chkouta, who lives next door, said there had been four missiles since 6:30 a.m.

A building “was directly hit on the upper floors and I saw injured people coming out,” he said.

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Irena, 32, evacuated the building with her 17-month-old son, Makar.

“We went downstairs with our emergency kit, which has been by the door since the war started,” she said.

The latest Russian strike in Kyiv took place in early June, targeting a factory on the outskirts of the capital and injuring one person.

At the end of April, a Ukrainian journalist from Radio Liberty was killed in her apartment by a Russian strike on Kyiv during a visit by UN chief Antonio Guterres.

Christi C. Elwood