Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Russian missiles strike Kyiv apartment building, kindergarden (PHOTOS)

by Asami Terajima and Kostyantyn ChernichkinJune 26, 2022 2:47 pm
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Russian missiles strike Kyiv apartment building, kindergarden (PHOTOS)A nine-story residential building in central Kyiv was struck by a Russian missile early on June 26, 2022. (Dmytro Sanin)

Russian missiles hit a nine-story residential building and a kindergarten in central Kyiv early on June 26, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

Rescuers have pulled out 25 residents from under the rubble at the apartment building in Kyiv’s Shevchenkivskyi District so far, Klitschko reported. At least one person was killed and six were injured, according to the mayor.

There were no casualties reported at the kindergarten. The missile hit a playground, turning it into a large swamp and destroying garages nearby. 

Among the four hospitalized victims is a seven-year-old girl who was rescued from under the rubble, Klitschko said, and later her mother was also brought to the hospital. The man who was killed by the missile attack was from the same family. 

According to Ukraine’s Air Force, Russia used the TU-95 and TU-160 aircraft and the  Х101 cruise missiles to attack Kyiv from the Caspian Sea. From four to six such missiles were launched at Kyiv on June 26, the military said.

One of the apartment complex’s residents confirmed to the Kyiv Independent that it's the same complex that was previously attacked in late April, killing RFE/RL journalist Vira Hyrych and injuring 10 people.

A Kyiv Independent journalist who visited the site past noon reported that the rescuers were currently working on the upper floors of the building, throwing debris to the ground. Police and investigators were seen collecting the remaining parts of missiles left at the scene of the explosion.

One of the residents whose apartment suffered severe damage from the attack, Vira Kostenko-Kuznyetsova, described her pain in a Facebook post. The Kyiv resident wrote that “it was hard, it took a lot of money and time” for her family to finally move into the apartment in late February. She said that the apartment was “directly” hit by the missile.

“There’s no home anymore,” Kostenko-Kuznyetsova wrote. 

Kostenko-Kuznyetsova could not be reached for comment at the time of publication. 

The first Russian strike in Kyiv in nearly three weeks was aimed to "intimidate Ukrainians” in the days leading up to a NATO summit, said Klitschko, who visited the site. He is referring to the meeting scheduled to take place in Madrid from June 28-30 where President Volodymyr Zelensky was invited to join virtually.

The previous strike on the capital took place on June 5 further away from central Kyiv, in the Darnytskyi District, where a residential building was hit by four Russian missiles on early Sunday morning, injuring one person. 

Shortly after gray smoke rose in the air in Kyiv, Russian forces also fired mortars on two villages in northeastern Ukraine’s Sumy Oblast. Governor Dmytro Zhyvytsky said there were 24 explosions reported in the region.

Hours later, Russian missiles also hit an area near Cherkasy in central Ukraine, killing one resident and injuring five others, Cherkasy Oblast Governor Ihor Taburets reported. He also said that an undisclosed infrastructure site was damaged. 

A day earlier, dozens of Russian cruise missiles struck military facilities in western and northern Ukraine early on June 25, local authorities said. The missiles came from across the Belarusian border and from the Black Sea, according to reports. 

Andriy Yermak, head of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, called on the Group of 7 (G7) leaders currently holding an annual summit in Munich “to respond to Russian strikes on Kyiv.” 

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