The mayor of Kiyv says a missile has hit an apartment building in Ukraine’s capital, as fighting between Ukrainian and invading Russian forces raged – but no deaths or injuries were immediately reported.
Vitali Klitschko said emergency and rescue services had rushed to the scene after the missile slammed into the residential tower block on the southwestern outskirts of Kyiv, near Zhuliany airport, on Saturday.
He posted an image on a messaging app, showing a gaping hole on one side of the building that ravaged apartments on several storeys.
Klitschko urged Kyiv residents to stay in shelters. “The enemy will attack from the air,” he warned.
Reporting from Kyiv, Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons said the high-rise structure was one of the “many buildings” that were hit overnight.
“The levels of violence raining down from the sky, through the streets of this city, it’s reaching its highest level,” he said. “Crescendos of sounds, crescendos of fear,” he added, as “the clock is ticking on the next stage of this Russian invasion, which is an attempt to take the capital.”
The Russian military said on Saturday it had targeted Ukraine’s military infrastructure using cruise missiles fired from the air and sea.
Russia has repeatedly insisted its assault on Ukraine is aimed only at military targets.
“Let me stress once again that only infrastructure sites of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are being targeted, ruling out damage to residential and social infrastructure,” Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a briefing on Saturday.
‘Another night under attacks’
Meanwhile, Klitschko said that as of 6am local time (04:00 GMT), 35 people, including two children, had been wounded in overnight fighting. It was not clear if he was referring only to civilians.
He insisted that there were no regular Russian troops in Kyiv, but said they were trying to enter from several directions and added that saboteur groups were “active”.
Kyiv, our splendid, peaceful city, survived another night under attacks by Russian ground forces, missiles. One of them has hit a residential apartment in Kyiv. I demand the world: fully isolate Russia, expel ambassadors, oil embargo, ruin its economy. Stop Russian war criminals! pic.twitter.com/c3ia46Ctjq
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 26, 2022
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, posted a picture on Twitter of the damaged apartment block.
“Kyiv, our splendid, peaceful city, survived another night under attacks by Russian ground forces, missiles. One of them has hit a residential apartment in Kyiv,” he wrote.
He called on the international community to “fully isolate Russia, expel ambassadors, (introduce an) oil embargo, ruin its economy”.
“Stop Russian war criminals!” he added.