Kyiv has been targeted by new Russian attacks on Sunday, the opening day of the G7 summit in Bavaria, that has left at least one dead and four injured in an area already affected in recent weeks.
Four missiles hit the neighborhood from 6.30 am (03.30 GMT), Edouard Chkouta, who lives in this wealthy neighborhood northwest of the Ukrainian capital, told AFP.
AFP noted that a residential building was hit at the scene and the last three floors of a total of ten floors were destroyed. Several fires broke out and produced thick brown fumes. Fire crews struggled for hours to get them under control.
“I saw with my own eyes the wounded come out,” said Mr. Chkouta.
“I went to the balcony, I saw the missiles falling and I heard a big explosion, everything trembled,” Yuri, 38, who lives in this complex, told AFP.
One of the missiles hit a nearby kindergarten and apparently no casualties were reported.
According to a new report provided by Kyiv mayor Vitaly Klitschko on Sunday afternoon, “one body was found, six people were injured, four were hospitalized, including a seven-year-old girl”.
After the girl was pulled from the wreckage, she “was out of danger” and was later operated on at the hospital, he said. She added that her mother, who rescuers removed for hours, was “medium weight”.
AFP helped save the girl’s mother. The authorities introduced him as a citizen of the Russian Federation in his 30s.
Mr. Klitschko initially mentioned four injuries. He did not give any information about the deceased.
This is the third time since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that this region has been targeted by missiles. It was first shot in mid-March, then on April 28, during the visit of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to Kiev. A Ukrainian journalist from Radio Liberty was killed.
The district is home to a weapons factory named Artem. Established at the end of the 19th century, it produces mainly air-to-air and anti-tank rockets and large-caliber missiles, according to a private military site of Ukraine.
At the end of the day, the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed that this factory was “the target” and that a Russian missile had “precisely hit their workshop”. He claimed that the damage to the nearby residential building was caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile.
A spokesperson for the Ukrainian air force said the attacks were carried out by “probably X101” missiles fired by TU-95 and TU-160 bombers from the Caspian Sea. Moscow did not provide information about the weapons used.
– “Intimidation” before the summit –
Mr. Klitschko accused the Russians of wanting to “frighten the Ukrainians (…) as the NATO summit and the G7 summit are approaching, two events that took place in Bavaria and then Spain until this Sunday and Thursday”.
He soon urged residents of the capital, many of whom did not heed almost daily warnings, to seek asylum – to be vigilant.
The enemy is “trying to scare us, to sow panic and despair. Let’s be alert! Let’s follow the basic safety rules that can save our lives. As soon as you hear the warning signal, go down to the shelters, do not be afraid. Do not neglect your safety,” he said.
Shortly after the strikes, after emergency crews called for an evacuation, dozens of residents gathered on the sidewalks in front of the affected building, some in tears, others in bathrobes or with their dogs.
32-year-old Irena hit the pavement with her 17-month-old son, Makar. “We went downstairs with our emergency backpack, which was by the door, as we had to evacuate since the beginning of the war,” she said.
The last Russian strike in the capital was due to June 5 and had targeted a factory on the southeast outskirts and injured one person.