War in Ukraine, Day 123 | New Russian attacks on Kyiv

(Kyiv) On Sunday, the opening day of a G7 summit in Bavaria, Kyiv woke up again at dawn to bombing raids on a residential neighborhood and a weapons factory that had been hit in recent weeks.

Posted at 12:18pm
Updated at 7:25am

Blaise Gauquelin
Media Agency France

“There were four rockets from 6.30am,” Edouard Chkouta, who lives in this affluent neighborhood northwest of the Ukrainian capital, told AFP.

One apartment building “was hit right on the top floors and I saw injured people come out with my own eyes,” he said.


PHOTO NARIMAN EL-MOFTY, ASSOCIATED PRESS

This is the third time since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine that this part of the city, not far from the historical center, has been attacked by rockets. He was first met in mid-March and then on April 28 during the visit of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to Kyiv. A Ukrainian journalist from Radio Liberty had died.

The district weapons factory called Artem, founded at the end of the 19th centurye Century mainly produces rockets and large-caliber missiles, according to a specialized Ukrainian military site.

Shortly after the strikes, dozens of residents gathered on the sidewalks in front of the affected building, some in tears, others in bathrobes or with their dogs, while rescue workers began the evacuation, a team from the AFP news agency noted on the spot.

The last three floors of the building, which has about ten, were completely destroyed. Several fires broke out, releasing thick brown smoke. The fire brigade fought for several hours to bring two sources of fire under control.


PHOTO SERGEI SUPINSKY, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

An AFP worker who lived in another building in the same condominium heard a loud hum before the blasts, typical of missile attacks.

A spokesman for Ukraine’s Air Force said the attacks were carried out using missiles, “probably X101s,” fired from the Caspian Sea by TU-95 and TU-160 bombers. Moscow did not immediately confirm this information.

“Intimidate” before the summit

“I went to the balcony, I saw rockets falling and I heard a huge explosion, everything was vibrating,” Yuri, 38, who also lives in the complex, told AFP.

Four injured were hospitalized, including a seven-year-old girl who lived on the ninth floor of the affected building. It was “lifted out of the rubble,” said Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko, who quickly arrived at the site.


PHOTO SERGEI SUPINSKY, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko

The balance could still change. Another missile hit a nearby kindergarten, apparently with no casualties.

AFP witnessed the rescue of the seven-year-old girl’s mother, which took several hours. According to the emergency services, she was stuck under a concrete slab. The authorities presented her as a citizen of the Russian Federation in her 30s. She was taken to the hospital in serious condition.


PHOTO VLADYSLAV MUSIIENKO, REUTERS

Rescuers carry a woman injured in the strikes.

According to Mr. Klitschko, the Russians “wanted to intimidate the Ukrainians […] is approaching the NATO summit” and that of the G7, linking the two events from this Sunday to Thursday in Bavaria and then in Spain.

Irena, 32, stepped onto the sidewalk with her 17-month-old son Makar. “We went down with our emergency backpack, which has been near the door since the beginning of the war, because we had to evacuate,” she said.

The latest Russian strike in the capital dates back to June 5 and targeted a factory on the south-eastern outskirts of the city, injuring one person. The airborne alarm sirens still sound almost every day, inviting residents to go to the emergency shelters. The alert on Sunday morning lasted more than five hours.

Call for more weapons and sanctions against Moscow

The Ukrainian government on Sunday demanded more arms and sanctions against Moscow from the G7 countries meeting at a summit in Bavaria, Germany, following renewed Russian strikes in Kyiv.

“The G7 must respond with more sanctions against Russia and more heavy weapons for Ukraine,” Dmytro Kouleba, the head of Ukraine’s diplomacy, tweeted, calling for “defeat” after the attack that left at least four people injured of ailing Russian imperialism”.

“A 7-year-old Ukrainian child slept peacefully in Kyiv until a Russian cruise missile blew up her building,” Ukraine’s foreign minister said.

“It is extremely important that the G7 and NATO show during this week’s summits that their commitment to Ukraine’s defense will never be weaker than wished [Vladimir] Putin to seize it,” Mr Kouleba also insisted on Sunday in a column he co-authored with his British counterpart Liz Truss.

The minister again called for “increasing and accelerating the supply of heavy weapons, tightening sanctions against anyone contributing to Putin’s war, and a complete halt to Russian energy imports.”

“Each additional weapon will help Ukrainians repel the Russian invaders,” and “each new sanction will help drain Putin’s military machine and save more lives,” he said.

Military training centers attacked

Russia said Sunday it had attacked three military training centers in northern and western Ukraine, including one near the Polish border, days ahead of a NATO summit of which Warsaw is a member.

These bombings were carried out with “high-precision weapons of the Russian Aerospace Forces and rockets [de croisière] Kalibr,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.

Among the targets is a military training center for Ukrainian forces in the Starytchi district of the Lviv region, about thirty kilometers from the Polish border.

The other two targeted Ukrainian training centers are located in the Zhytomyr region (central-west) and in the Cherniguiv region (north).

Mr Konachenkov did not say where or when those missiles were fired from, but Ukraine announced on Saturday that Russia had launched attacks that day from Belarus, the northern border. Moscow has not commented on this.

After these attacks, several Ukrainian brigades “completely lost their combat capabilities” and “plans to use them in combat zones were foiled,” Konashenkov said.

With these bombings, Russia is once again reminding us that it is capable of reaching any point on Ukrainian territory, although most of the operations are now taking place in the east and south of that country.

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