Russia hit Kyiv with cruise missiles fired from the Caspian Sea on Sunday, striking a rail car repair facility in the Ukrainian capital, in the first such attack for weeks, Ukraine’s army and railway chief said.
Dark smoke funnelled into the sky above Kyiv’s eastern outskirts. At least one person was hospitalised though no deaths were immediately reported, Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said.
Ukrainian air defences shot down one incoming missile at around 6 a.m. local time (0300 GMT), the military said.
One Russian missile that was probably headed for Kyiv flew “critically low” over a major nuclear power plant in the southern Mykolaiv region, state-run nuclear power operator Energoatom said on Telegram.
Russia’s Defence Ministry said its missiles had destroyed T-72 tanks and armoured vehicles supplied to Ukraine by eastern European countries that were housed in a rail car repair facility in Kyiv.
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Oleksandr Kamyshin, head of the Ukrainian railway, confirmed that four missiles had smashed into the Darnytsia rail car repair facility in eastern Kyiv, but denied there had been any military hardware at the site.
“Their (Russia’s) target is the economy and the civilian population,” he said.
The sprawling railway system has served as a vital lifeline as Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion has smashed the Ukrainian economy and severed export routes via the Black Sea.Read Also: “We Will Strike Targets We Have Not Yet Been Hitting” – Vladimir Putin Warns West Over Supplying Ukraine With Longer-range Missiles
The missiles were the first to hit the capital since late April when a Radio Liberty producer was killed in a Russian missile strike that hit the building she lived in.
“According to preliminary data, the (Russians) launched missiles from Tu-95 aircraft from the Caspian Sea,” the Ukrainian air force said in a statement.
Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak called on the West to impose more sanctions on Russia to punish it for the strikes and to supply more weapons to Ukraine.
“The Kremlin resorts to new insidious attacks. Today’s missile strikes at Kyiv have only one goal – kill as many as possible,” he wrote in a tweet.
The mayor of the historic town of Brovary, around 20 km (12 miles) from Kyiv’s centre, urged people to remain inside their homes as there had been reports of a sooty smell coming from the smoke.
Despite continuing Russian offensives in Ukraine and the widespread destruction, life in Kyiv has been relatively attack-free in recent weeks, after Moscow turned the focus of its invasion to the east and south.
Air raid sirens regularly disrupt life in Kyiv, but there have been no major strikes on the city in several weeks.
The Darnytskyi district on the left bank of the Dnipro River stretches from the fringes of Kyiv to the river’s shores while the Dniprovskyi area in the city’s north lies along the river.
Oleksandr Honcharenko, mayor of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region in the east, reported overnight strikes on the city, resulting in widespread damage but no casualties.
On Saturday, Ukrainian officials said the country’s troops had recaptured a swathe of the embattled city of Sievierodonetsk in a counteroffensive against Russia.
Photo Credit: Getty