Russia Hits Residential Apartment Buildings in Kyiv with Missiles, Killing many People

Russia Hits Residential Apartment Buildings in Kyiv with Missiles, Killing many People
Опубликовано: Thursday, 23 March 2023 14:36

A Russian missile blew up a Ukrainian apartment building this morning hours after a drone strike on a Kyiv high school killed seven people, terrifying video has shown.

The strikes came as part of Vladimir Putin’s latest missile barrage against the country, despite the Kremlin insisting its forces are not targeting civilians.

Shocking footage from Zaporizhzhya and posted by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky showed a huge fireball erupting from the residential building in broad daylight, causing drivers to speed past in their cars to escape the blast.

In the aftermath of the attack, Ukrainian media carried pictures showing charred apartments on several stories of the affected buildings, and flames billowing from some of them. The number of causalities was not immediately clear, but initial reports said one person was killed and a further 32 were wounded.

Earlier, Ukraine reported that an Iranian-built drone had struck a high school to the north in the Kyiv region, killing seven and injuring several more.

The attacks took place the same day Chinese leader Xi Jinping left Moscow after discussing his proposal for ending the war, which has been rejected by the West as a non-starter on account of Ukraine being required to cede territory to Russia.

The West says Russia’s year-long invasion of Ukraine is an imperialistic land grab driven by Putin’s ambition to expand his borders and eradicate a sovereign country.

Zelensky, who on Wednesday visited the ruined frontlines near the eastern town on Bakhmut, condemned the strike in Zaporizhzhya. ‘Right now, a Russian missile hit a multi-storey building,’ he said. ‘Russia shells the city with brutal cruelty.

‘This should not become “just an ordinary day” in Ukraine, or anywhere else in Europe or the world. We need more unity and decisiveness of the world in order to quickly defeat Russian terror and protect lives.’

Vladimir Rogov, an official with the Moscow-appointed regional administration for the Russia-occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region, claimed the building was hit by a Ukrainian air defence missile that was launched to intercept a Russian missile.

He didn’t cite offer any evidence to back up his claim.

Russia has denied targeting residential areas even though artillery and rocket strikes hit apartment buildings and civilian infrastructure on a daily basis.

Russian officials have blamed Ukrainian air defences for some of the deadliest strikes on apartment buildings in the past, charging that the deployment of air defence systems in residential areas puts civilians at risk – despite overwhelming evidence that suggests Russian missiles have hit civilian sites with no provocation.

On the first strike, the State Emergency Service said on the Telegram messaging app that two dormitories and an educational facility in the city of Rzhyshchiv had been partially destroyed in the attack, while people were sleeping inside.

It was not clear how many people were in the dormitories at the time.

The body of a 40-year-old man was pulled from the rubble on a dormitory’s fifth floor, according to regional police chief Andrii Nebytov. More than 20 people were hospitalised, he added, while a few other people were unaccounted for.

‘Three people died, two people were injured and one person was rescued. Four people are probably under the rubble,’ the state emergency service said initially, with the number of fatalities later rising to four.

Rzhyshchiv lies about 50 miles south of Kyiv. The emergency services published images of heavily damaged buildings, and a fire still burning. The attack ‘partially destroyed’ two floors of two student residences and a building used for studying.

A fire affecting more than 3,200 square feet of the school was extinguished shortly before 7am local time, according to the emergency services.

Russia regularly pounds Ukraine with indiscriminate missiles, artillery and drones. Moscow insists it is only attacking military targets, but thousands of civilians have been killed in strikes since the war broke out last year.

The strikes also often cause power cuts that prevent people from warming their homes or getting drinking water.

Last week, Putin was charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) charged Putin over the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia since the start of the war. Under international law, attacks against civilian targets also amount to war crimes.

‘Over 20 Iranian murderous drones, plus missiles, numerous shelling incidents, and that’s just in one last night of Russian terror against Ukraine,’ President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Twitter.

Suggesting Russia did not want peace in Ukraine after almost 13 months of war, he said: ‘Every time someone tries to hear the word ‘peace’ in Moscow, another order is given there for such criminal strikes.’

The Ukrainian military said it had shot down 16 out of 21 drones launched at Ukraine overnight by Russia. Russia did not immediately comment on the reports.

Meanwhile, the Russian navy ‘repelled’ a drone attack on the port of Sevastopol in Moscow-annexed Crimea, the Kremlin-backed governor of the city said.

The peninsula, seized by Russia from Ukraine in 2014, is home to Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet and has been hit by a series of drone attacks since the Kremlin’s offensive.

The attack came just four days after President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Sevastopol, and the day after Ukraine said a shipment of Russian cruise missiles had been destroyed in the town of Dzhankoi, in the north of the peninsular.

‘In total, three objects have been destroyed,’ the Russian-installed governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said on Telegram. He said military personnel had shot at the drones with ‘small arms’ and that ‘air defence was also working’.

Razvozhayev added there were no casualties and claimed no ships had been damaged, but said that the explosions blew out windows in nearby buildings.

These included the Moscow House cultural centre, a well known building that is beyond the port.

But Razvozhayev downplayed the attack, saying the navy ‘confidently and calmly’ repelled it. He urged calm saying the ‘situation was under control’.

In a later post, he dismissed reports that people were leaving Crimea, saying it was a ‘lie’ spread by Kyiv. ‘Information is spreading about evacuations from the peninsula by ferry crossings and other such nonsense,’ he said.

Since Ukraine gained long-range missile capabilities through weapon supplies delivered by the West, it has stepped up its attacks on targets in Crimea.

Last August, missiles destroyed several planes at an air base on the peninsula’s south west coast and Ukrainian authorities later claimed responsibility for the attack.

And on October 8, an explosion badly damaged a stretch of the Crimean/Kerch Bridge, a huge bridge built by Russia to connect Crimea to its mainland.

Also in October, Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was hit by a major drone attack that the Kremlin blamed on Ukraine.

As Xi visited Moscow, Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida – who is the current chair of the G7 – made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Tuesday, throwing his support behind Mr Zelensky’s government as his Asian rival Mr Xi sided with Mr Putin.

After returning to Poland on Wednesday morning, Mr Kishida said he had expressed the ‘unwavering determination of solidarity’ of Japan and the G7 to Ukraine during his talks with Mr Zelensky.

Mr Kishida’s visit to Ukraine was ‘very meaningful’ for Japan’s future support for that country, Japan’s top government spokesman said.

‘Through Prime Minister Kishida’s visit to Ukraine, Japan was able to show not only to other members of the G7 but also the international society including the Global South (nations) its determination to defend the rules-based international society,’ Hirokazu Matsuno said.

Mr Kishida’s visit snatched away some of the attention from Mr Xi’s trip to Moscow where he promoted Beijing’s peace proposal for Ukraine, which western nations had already dismissed as a way to consolidate Moscow’s gains.

Mr Xi left Moscow early on Wednesday.

The visits by Mr Xi and Mr Kishida, about 500 miles apart, highlighted how countries are lining up behind Moscow or Kyiv during the nearly 13-month-old war.


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