Russian missiles rock Kyiv as G7 leaders hold summit

Published on Jun 27, 2022 12:04 AM IST

One person died and four people, including a seven-year-old girl, were taken to hospital following the early morning strikes, said city mayor Vitali Klitschko.

Smoke rises after a missile strike in Kyiv, Ukraine.(REUTERS)
Smoke rises after a missile strike in Kyiv, Ukraine.(REUTERS)
AFP |

Russian strikes hit a residential building in Kyiv on Sunday in the first attack on the capital in almost three weeks, Ukraine said, calling for increased support from G7 leaders meeting in Germany.

One person died and four people, including a seven-year-old girl, were taken to hospital following the early morning strikes, said city mayor Vitali Klitschko.

Russia denied it had hit a civilian target, however, saying its forces had struck the Artyom weapons factory in the neighbourhood.

Earlier, it announced strikes against three military centres in northern and western Ukraine, including one near the border with Poland.

The high-profile attacks come as a week of Western diplomacy kicked off with the G7 summit in Germany, which will be followed by a meeting of NATO leaders in Spain.

Allies including US President Joe Biden -- who condemned the Kyiv attack as "barbarism" -- will take stock of their support for Ukraine and for sanctions imposed on Moscow.

The G7 talks opened Sunday with the announcement of a ban on imports of Russian gold, but Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called for more.

He posted on Twitter a photo of an injured child being carried on a stretcher, who he said was "sleeping peacefully in Kyiv until a Russian cruise missile blasted her home".

The "G7 summit must respond with more sanctions on Russia and more heavy arms for Ukraine. Russia's sick imperialism must be defeated", he said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address both the G7 and the NATO summit, the week after the EU showed its support by granting Kyiv candidate status.

'Intimidate Ukrainians'

Russian forces sought to encircle Kyiv in the first few weeks after the February 24 invasion, but Sunday's attack was the first strike on the capital since early June.

Klitschko said the attack was a Russian missile strike intended to "intimidate Ukrainians" ahead of the NATO summit.

But Russia's defence ministry condemned as "fake" reports that it had targeted a residential building.

A Russian missile had "hit the Artyom factory's workshops" which had already been targeted in April, it said, saying the residential building was damaged by a Ukrainian air defence missile.

It was the third time since the invasion that this northwest neighbourhood had been hit. The weapons factory nearby produces air-to-air and anti-tank rockets among others.

An AFP team said there was a fire on the top three floors of the building and its stairwell was completely destroyed.

Afterwards, residents gathered at the bottom of the building, many of them in tears. One woman was still wearing a bathrobe.

"I woke up at the first explosion, went to the balcony and saw missiles falling and heard a huge explosion -- everything vibrated," 38-year-old Yuri told AFP, declining to give his surname.

Edward Shkuta, who lives next door, said there had been four missiles since 6:30 am.

A building "was directly hit on the top floors and I saw wounded people coming out".

'Fully occupied'

In recent months, the fighting in Ukraine has focused on the eastern Donbas region, which has been partially under the control of pro-Moscow separatists since 2014.

The Russians made a strategic breakthrough Saturday when they took the industrial hub of Severodonetsk, the scene of weeks of fierce battles that have left it largely destroyed.

Severodonetsk's mayor said it had been "fully occupied" by Russian troops after Ukrainian forces retreated to better defend the neighbouring city of Lysychansk.

Pro-Moscow separatists on Saturday said Russian troops and their allies had entered Lysychansk, which faces Severodonetsk on high ground across the Donets river.

Its capture would give Russia control of the entire Lugansk region in the Donbas, Ukraine's industrial heartland.

At talks on the sidelines of the G7, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron said they saw an "opportunity to turn the tide" in Ukraine, a Downing Street spokesman said.

But Johnson also cautioned Macron -- who has maintained a dialogue with Putin, unlike the British leader -- that "any attempt to settle the conflict now will only cause enduring instability".

'No heating'

In Saint Petersburg on Saturday, Putin said Russia would deliver Iskander-M missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to Belarus in the coming months, as he received Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.

He also offered to upgrade Belarus' warplanes to make them capable of carrying nuclear weapons, in comments broadcast on Russian television.

Putin has referred to nuclear weapons several times since the invasion, in what the West has seen as a warning for it not to intervene.

Ukraine said it had come under "massive bombardment" Saturday morning from neighbouring Belarus which, although a Russian ally, is not officially involved in the conflict.

The battle for Severodonetsk has devastated the city, as others before it, notably the southern port of Mariupol that was besieged for weeks before Russians took control.

Residents in Mariupol face the prospect of a desperately cold winter, according to mayoral adviser Petro Andryushenko, who said local committees were being instructed to collect data on the need for firewood and coal.

"This is a direct signal and an acknowledgement of the obvious fact -- there will be no heating in winter," he said.

The city's Moscow-backed leadership could not even provide heat if they wanted to, given the "huge damage" to the pipeline that supplied the city with natural gas, Andryushenko added.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The path of flight ET343 over Addis Ababa, as recorded by Flightradar24. When the plane overflew the runway, the autopilot disconnected, triggering an alarm, which finally woke the pilots, who then turned the plane around. (Courtesy: flightradar24)

    Ethiopian Airlines pilots fall asleep on flight, miss landing

    New Delhi: Pilots of an aircraft of Ethiopian Airlines fell asleep mid-air and missed landing at Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, commercial aviation news website Aviation Herald reported late on Thursday. The pilots were later suspended pending an investigation, according to news agency Bloomberg. The incident reportedly took place on Monday when the aircraft was flying from Sudan's Khartoum and was supposed to land at Bole Airport in Addis Ababa.

  • Michael Gove in a file photo. (Reuters)

    Ex-UK minister Michael Gove backs Rishi Sunak for next PM

    Former British cabinet minister Michael Gove on Friday endorsed Rishi Sunak for prime minister and announced an end of his frontline political career, he said in an op-ed in The Times. Gove wrote in the op-ed that he thinks Liz Truss' campaign for 10 Downing Street "has been a holiday from reality." Sunak has the right arguments as they come from his experience of being the chancellor during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gove added.

  • FILE - Armed al-Shabab fighters ride on pickup trucks as they prepare to travel into the city, just outside the capital Mogadishu, Somalia, Dec. 8, 2008.. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh, File)

    Al-Shabaab attacks hotel in Somalia's Mogadishu, casualties reported

    Al-Shabaab fighters attacked a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu in a hail of gunfire and explosions on Friday, with casualties reported, security sources and witnesses said. The assault on the Hayat Hotel triggered a fierce gunfight between security forces and gunmen from the jihadist group who are still holed up inside the building, security official Abdukadir Hassan told AFP.

  • Sweden shopping centre shooting: Two injured, one arrested. (Getty Images)

    Sweden shopping centre shooting: Two injured, one arrested

    Swedish police said on Friday two people were injured in a shooting at the Emporia shopping centre in the southern city of Malmo and one suspect has been arrested. Read: Shooting selection policy set for a tweak again The police are on the scene questioning witnesses and going through material from surveillance cameras. Earlier, police said they had cordoned off the area and asked the public to avoid going to the shopping centre.

  • The vaccine - called Jynneos, Imvanex and Imvamune, depending on geography - was designed to be injected into a layer of fat beneath the skin, known as a subcutaneous injection. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

    EU backs changing monkeypox vaccine injection method to boost supply

    The recommendation is based on a study involving about 500 adults, which compared the performance of the vaccine given either intradermally or subcutaneously, as two doses given about a month apart.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, August 20, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now