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Russian Strikes Ukraine’s Capital Kyiv as UN Chief Visits the Country

The strikes happened just two days after Guterres met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow

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Transcontinental Times Staff
Transcontinental Times Staffhttps://www.transcontinentaltimes.com
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UKRIANE. Kyiv: In the first such rocket attack on the city since mid-April, Russian strikes smashed into central Kyiv on Thursday, startling UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and wounding ten people.

At around 17:15 GMT, a powerful explosion shook the Ukrainian capital, sending emergency vehicles scurrying towards a residential neighborhood in the western part of the city in an attack that jolted the UN head and his colleagues.

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One attack impacted a 25-story residential structure, partially demolishing two floors, according to emergency services, while eyewitnesses witnessed a low-rise building engulfed in flames, with black smoke billowing into the air and rescuers on the scene.

Twelve fire trucks were dispatched to put out the blaze, and rescuers confirmed that ten persons were injured in the strikes, up from three previously.

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Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, stated, “There were two hits in the Shevchenkovsky area,one of which impacted “the bottom floors of a residential structure.”

The incident shook the UN team, but a spokeswoman affirmed that everyone was “safe.”

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“It’s a combat zone, but, shockingly, it happened so near to us,” UN humanitarian spokesman Saviano Abreu said.

The incident happened less than an hour after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky conducted a joint press conference about 3.5 kilometers (2 miles) from the location of impact.

“Russian missiles were launched into Kyiv today, shortly after our talks ended. There are five rockets,” Zelensky stated.

“This tells a lot about the Russian leadership’s efforts to disgrace the United Nations and everything it stands for.”

He added that it required “a correspondingly powerful reaction”.

‘Heinous act of barbarism’

Dmytro Kuleba, his foreign minister, called it a “heinous act of barbarism,” while Oleksiy Reznikov, his defence minister, called it “an attack on the Secretary General’s security and on international security.”

The strikes happened just two days after Guterres met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, where Putin expressed optimism that the issue might be resolved through discussions.

The irony of the timing was not lost on Mykhaylo Podolyak, a senior Zelensky aide.

“Missile strikes in the downtown of Kyiv during the official visit of @antonioguterres. The day before he was sitting at a long table in the Kremlin, and today explosions are above his head,” he tweeted.

Guterres saw numerous towns and villages near Kyiv where Russian forces are accused of killing civilians during his first visit to Ukraine since Russia started a full-scale invasion on February 24.

“In the twenty-first century, war is an absurdity. The war is a terrible thing,” he made the statement after touring locations such as Bucha, where scores of civilian victims were discovered, some with their hands bound and others buried in shallow graves.

Later, at a press conference with Zelensky, Guterres stated that the Security Council’s efforts to “prevent and halt” Russia’s conflict in Ukraine had fallen short.

“Let me be clear: the Security Council has failed to do all possible to avoid and stop this conflict. This is a source of immense disappointment, irritation, and rage for many people,” he stated.

Also Read: ‘Perfect Storm’ of Measles Outbreak Ahead, Children at Risk Worldwide, Says WHO

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