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Russian troops launched a missile barrage on Kyiv Oblast during a visit by an African delegation aimed at facilitating peace talks between Ukraine and Russia.
"Russian missiles are a message to Africa: Russia wants more war, not peace," tweeted Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. He called the attack the largest on Kyiv "in weeks."
Presidential Office head Andrii Yermak also commented on the attack, saying that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin "wants to demonstrate that he is willing to disregard the safety of foreign leaders and he actually doesn't care because he feels complete impunity."
Yermak reminded that Russia had also attacked Ukraine during visits of U.S. President Joe Biden and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
"The world must understand that consolidation and the toughest possible position towards Russia are now necessary," Yermak said on Telegram. "It is crucial to show strength to the state that undermines global security and acts with terrorist methods."
A delegation of African countries led by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived in Ukraine on the morning of June 16. The group is set to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky under the African Peace Mission.
Except for Ramaphosa, the delegation includes leaders of Senegal, Egypt, the Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Comoros, and Zambia.
The leaders arrived at the railway station in Nemishaeve, a village near Bucha in Kyiv Oblast. They visited a mass grave of civilians killed by Russian forces in Bucha, then headed to the capital.
Reuters crew saw the African leaders entering a bomb shelter upon their arrival n Kyiv. After the all-clear, the mission was renewed as planned.
Russia launched six Kinzhal ballistic missiles and six Kalibr cruise missiles on Kyiv Oblast at about 11 a.m. local time, according to the Air Force.
All the missiles were reportedly shot down by Ukraine's air defenses, but the debris fell into a settlement, resulting in casualties among civilians and damage to people's homes.
As of 2 p.m. local time, four people are known to have been injured, including a child, according to the regional department of the State Emergency Service.