Hostilities Resume

Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, has confirmed that Russian forces have fired two missiles into the downtown region of his city.

He reported on social media, “In the evening, the enemy fired on Kyiv. All services are in place. Information about the victims is being clarified.”

Former heavyweight boxer and mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, addresses members of the press from his office. Image Credit: denverpost.com

Two large explosions were heard coming from Kyiv’s Shevchenkivskyi district. Residents were quick to post photos and videos of the aftermath of the attack on social media. There are numerous images of smoke rising over buildings during sunset.

The attack comes on the same day that United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov visited President Volodymyr Zelensky in the city. Just days prior, Guterres met with Vladimir Putin in Russia.

Soldiers and first responders at the site of the missile strike on Kyiv. Image Credit: David Guttenfelder/New York Times

At Least One Death

Officials say at least one person was killed in the airstrike, and several others were injured, including some who were trapped in the rubble of the two buildings that were hit.  At least one of the buildings that were struck was a residential structure. Svetlana Vodolaga, the State Emergency Service press secretary, said the other missile had hit an unnamed facility close to the residential building.

The attacks were a disturbing reminder to city residents that the war was still going on. Life was beginning to get back to normal; restaurants and stores were reopening, and pedestrians were taking to the streets again. It’s been the first attack of its type in weeks.

Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba condemned the attacks, calling them a “heinous act of barbarism that demonstrates Russia’s attitude towards Ukraine, Europe, and the world.” Ukraine Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov quickly referred to the missile strikes as  “an attack on the security of the U.N. Secretary-General and on world security.”

Civilians filmed the latest missile strike in the capital city. Video courtesy of YouTube, The Telegraph, and TPXA.

Questionable Timing

The bombardment came barely an hour after Zelensky held a news conference with the UN Secretary-General, who called Ukraine “an epicenter of unbearable heartache and pain.”  At a press conference just before the missile strikes, Guterres condemned the atrocities committed in towns like Bucha, where evidence of mass killings of civilians was found after Russia retreated in the face of unexpectedly stiff resistance.

A Ukrainian spokesperson reported that Guterres and his team were safe.

The Secretary-General’s visit with  President Putin on Tuesday was to discuss the urgent need for Russian forces to permit humanitarian corridors for civilian evacuations of the war-torn nation.

Today’s missile strike can be viewed as Putin’s non-diplomatic, non-verbal response to the request.

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