Rescuers evacuate a person from an apartment building destroyed in a Russian airstrikes in the Shevchenkivskiy district of Kyiv on June 26, 2022. [Source: CNN News]
Russia targeted the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv with a series of missile attacks Sunday, as leaders of the G7 nations gather in Germany for the first day of their annual summit.
One person died and at least six were wounded in a Russian missile strike that hit a residential apartment block in Kyiv.
The city’s Deputy Mayor, Volodymyr Bondarenko, said four of the injured were admitted to the hospital as search and rescue operations continue.
Bondarenko also said a kindergarten was hit in the missile strike but no one was injured, and video from Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs showed a large missile funnel in the backyard of the kindergarten.
Those injured in the residential block included a 7-year-old girl, he said.
Her mother, a 35-year-old woman named Katerina, was rescued from the rubble and put into an ambulance. She is a citizen of Russia, but had lived in Kyiv for a long time.
A CNN team on the ground spoke to the injured girl’s grandmother, Natalia Nikitina, who found out about the attack online and rushed to the apartment block, where she cried as she watched teams trying to rescue her daughter-in-law.
“There is nothing worse than losing loved ones. Why do we deserve this?” she said.
A huge plume of smoke continued to billow from the building two hours after the strike, while nearly every window was blown out on the top floor, and the ground was covered in debris and twisted metal.
Ukrainian air force spokesman Yurii Ihnat said “strategic bombers” were used to hit the capital, with “four to six missiles” launched. He added that on Saturday, Russia had used Tu22M3 long-range bombers from the airspace of Belarus for the first time in a Ukrainian air strike.
The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, said on Telegram there had been several explosions in the city’s Shevchenkivskyi district, and that search and rescue operations were launched after a fire broke out when a residential building was hit by a rocket.
“There are people are trapped under the rubble. Some residents have been evacuated, with two victims hospitalized. Rescuers are continuing their work,” he said.
Speaking to CNN onsite, Klitschko said Russia’s war on Ukraine was “senseless” and thousands of civilians had died, and added, “We have to do everything to stop this war.”
The Ukrainian State Emergency Service said the fire was caused by “enemy shelling” and was over an area of 300 square meters, in “a 9-storey residential building with partial destruction of the 7th, 9th and 9th floors.”
The same neighborhood was hit by a missile strike in early May, and was also targeted in March.
Vadym Denysenko, an adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs, said on Ukrainian television that there are “a number of military infrastructure facilities located in the Shevchenkivskyi district of the Ukrainian capital.
This is the reason why the Russians are shelling this district.”
US President Joe Biden called Sunday’s attack “more of [Russian] barbarism.”
He declined to respond when asked whether the strikes were a deliberate provocation during the G7 summit.