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Kyiv (Reuters) – Russia’s Tu-95 strategic bombers fired missiles at Kyiv from the Caspian Sea early on Sunday, the Ukrainian air force and the city’s mayor said, and explosions rocked two eastern districts of the Ukrainian capital.
Mayor Vitali Klitschko said at least one person was taken to hospital although no deaths were immediately reported. Dark smoke rose into the sky over the Darnytskyi and Dniprovskyi regions, where explosions rang out.
The attack targeted railway infrastructure, according to Serhiy Leshchenko, assistant chief of staff to President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said it fired missiles at Kyiv from long distances, destroying T-72 tanks and armored vehicles that had been supplied to Ukraine by Eastern European countries and being held in a railroad repair building.
The Ukrainian Air Force said Ukraine’s air defenses destroyed a cruise missile around 6 a.m. local time after identifying incoming 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 her building.
“According to preliminary data, (the Russians) launched missiles from Tu-95 aircraft from the Caspian Sea,” the Ukrainian Air Force said in a statement.
Adviser to Ukrainian President Mykhailo Podolyak called on the West to impose more sanctions on Russia to punish the strikes and to supply Ukraine with more weapons.
“The Kremlin is resorting to new malicious attacks. Today’s missile strikes on Kyiv have only one goal – to kill as many as possible,” he wrote.
The mayor of the historic town of Brovary, 20 km (20 km) from central Kyiv, urged people to stay indoors as there were reports of soot smelling of smoke.
Despite constant Russian attacks in Ukraine and widespread devastation, life in Kyiv has been relatively free of attacks in recent weeks, after Moscow shifted the focus of its conquest to the east and south.
Sirens regularly disrupt life in Kyiv, but there have been no major blows to the city for several weeks.
The Darnytskyi district extends on the left bank of the Dnipro River from the outskirts of Kyiv to the river shores while the Dniprovskyi district is located in the north of the city along the river.
Oleksandr Honcharenko, mayor of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region in the east, reported night strikes on the city, which resulted in extensive damage but no casualties.
On Saturday, Ukrainian officials said, Ukrainian forces had retaken a section of the besieged city of Severodonetsk in a counter-offensive against Russia. Read more
Writing by Lydia Kelly and Tom Palmforth; Editing by William Mallard and Mark Heinrich
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