Saturday, April 20, 2024

Russia conducts largest missile strike on Ukraine capital in weeks

Russia launched its largest missile attack in weeks on Kyiv and the surrounding region on Thursday, injuring more than a dozen and damaging schools, residential buildings and industrial facilities, officials have confirmed.

The air force announced its defences shot down all the inbound missiles that were fired after a 44-day pause in such attacks on the Ukrainian capital. The damage appeared to have been caused by falling debris.

“Every day and every night there is such terror. The world’s unity can stop it when it helps us with air defence systems. Now we need this defence here in Ukraine,” President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

City and regional officials said at least 13 people were injured in different parts of Kyiv and four more in the surrounding region. An 11-year-old girl was among four people taken to hospital, city officials added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Kyiv last week of launching attacks to disrupt the Russian presidential election that handed him six more years in power. The Kremlin leader warned Ukraine would be punished for that.

Russia, which denies targeting civilians, invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, and has launched thousands of missiles and drones on Ukrainian cities and villages in attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians.

The Ukrainian military has reported Russia launched over 8,000 missiles on Ukraine in the first two years of the war.

Air raid sirens, which warn Ukrainians to take shelter, have sounded in the capital more than 1,020 times since the start of the war, the Ukrainian military said.

The capital was under an air raid alert for nearly three hours on Thursday morning.

The Russian military used strategic bombers and also launched some missiles from its territory, Serhiy Popko, head of Kyiv’s military administration, said. The missiles targeted Kyiv from different directions, he added.

Kyiv city officials said that several kindergartens and schools, residential buildings and industrial sites were damaged by debris from downed Russian missiles across the city.

In the region, at least 40 private houses and two multi-storey buildings were damaged, regional officials said.

“Russia spent $390 million on today’s missile attack on Kyiv,” Agiya Zagrebelska, head of sanctions policy at the National Agency on Corruption Prevention, told Reuters.

“This is less than 1% of the amount of taxes paid by international companies to the Russian budget since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.”

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