Russia Strikes Kyiv Again 06/26 08:50
Russia attacked the Ukrainian capital early Sunday, striking at least two
residential buildings, the mayor of Kyiv said, as elsewhere Russian troops
fought to consolidate their gains in the country's east.
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- Russia attacked the Ukrainian capital early Sunday,
striking at least two residential buildings, the mayor of Kyiv said, as
elsewhere Russian troops fought to consolidate their gains in the country's
Associated Press journalists in Kyiv saw rescue services battling flames and
rescuing civilians. The general prosecutor's office said preliminary
information indicated one person was killed and four injured; Kyiv Mayor Vitali
Klitschko said four people were hospitalized with injuries and a 7-year-old
girl was pulled alive from the rubble.
A nearby kindergarten was also damaged, with a crater in its courtyard.
A member of the Ukrainian parliament, Oleksiy Goncharenko, wrote on the
Telegram messaging app that "according to prelim data 14 missiles were launched
against Kyiv region and Kyiv." Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat said the
missiles were Kh-101 air-launched cruise missiles fired from planes over the
In the city of Cherkasy, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Kyiv,
one person was killed and five injured in strikes by two Russian rockets,
regional governor Ihor Taburets said.
The early morning Russian airstrikes were the first to successfully target
the capital since June 5.
Klitschko told journalists that he believed "it is maybe a symbolic attack"
ahead of an upcoming NATO summit in Madrid.
Two more explosions were later heard in Kyiv, but their cause and possible
casualties were not immediately clear.
U.S. President Joe Biden, while standing with Olaf Scholz as the German
chancellor greeted leaders arriving to open a Group of Seven summit Sunday, was
asked for his reaction to the latest Russian missile strikes on Kyiv, said.
"It's more of their barbarism," he replied.
Biden said the United States and other G-7 leading economies intend to
announce a ban on imports of gold from Russia. They hope that measure will
further isolate Russia economically over its invasion of Ukraine.
Senior Biden administration officials said gold is Moscow's second-largest
export after energy and that banning imports would make it more difficult for
Russia to participate in global markets.
Biden's Twitter feed said Russia "rakes in tens of billions of dollars" from
the sale of its gold.
Meanwhile, Russian forces have battled to swallow up the last remaining
Ukrainian stronghold in the eastern Luhansk region, pressing their momentum
after taking full control Saturday of the city of Sievierodonetsk, including a
chemical plant where hundreds of Ukrainian troops and civilians had holed up.
Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai said Sunday that Russia was conducting intense
airstrikes on the adjacent city of Lysychansk, destroying its television tower
and seriously damaging a road bridge.
"There's very much destruction -- Lysychansk is almost unrecognizable," he
wrote on Facebook.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said late Saturday that
Russian and Moscow-backed separatist forces now control Sievierodonetsk and the
villages surrounding it. He said the attempt by Ukrainian forces to turn the
Azot plant into a "stubborn center of resistance" had been thwarted.
Haidai confirmed Saturday that Sievierodonetsk had fallen to Russian and
separatist fighters, who he said were now trying to blockade Lysychansk from
Russia's Interfax news agency quoted a spokesman for the separatist forces,
Andrei Marochko, as saying Russian troops and separatist fighters had entered
Lysychansk and that fighting was taking place in the heart of the city. There
was no immediate comment on the claim from the Ukrainian side.
Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk have been the focal point of a Russian
offensive aimed at capturing all of the Donbas and destroying the Ukrainian
military defending it -- the most capable and battle-hardened segment of the
country's armed forces.
Capturing Lysychansk would give Russian forces control of every major
settlement in the province, a significant step toward Russia's aim of capturing
the entire Donbas. The Russians and separatists control about half of Donetsk,
the second province in the Donbas.
On Saturday, Russia also launched dozens of missiles on several areas across
the country far from the heart of the eastern battles. Some of the missiles
were fired from Russian long-range Tu-22 bombers deployed from Belarus for the
first time, Ukraine's air command said.
The bombardment preceded a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin
and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, during which Putin announced
that Russia planned to supply Belarus with the Iskander-M missile system.