‘Russian attack destroys airport’ as Zelenskyy urges no-fly zone

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says eight rockets hit a civilian airport in Vinnytsia, central Ukraine.

Smoke rises from the Havryshivka Vinnytsia International Airport
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the airport was hit by eight rockets [State Emergency Service of Ukraine via Reuters]

A barrage of Russian missiles destroyed a civilian airport in Vinnytsia in central Ukraine on Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said.

“I have just been informed about a missile strike on Vinnytsia. Eight rockets … The airport was completely destroyed,” he said on Sunday, the 11th day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify the claim. Russia denies attacking civilian areas.

Several cities and airbases in Ukraine have been bombed, shelled or hit with ballistic missiles since Russia launched its invasion.

Vinnytsia is in the western area of central Ukraine, far from the Russia and Belarus borders, in an area that has seen fewer such strikes.

Volodymyr Zelensky delivering an address, standing behind a lectern
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky renewed a call for Western powers to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine [Ukrainian presidency press office via AFP]

Moscow calls the campaign it launched on February 24 a “special military operation”, saying it has no plans to occupy Ukraine, which was once part of the Soviet Union under Moscow’s sway but which has now turned to the West and is seeking membership in NATO and the European Union.

Zelenskyy also renewed his demand that Western powers enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine to prevent more Russian attacks.

“We repeat every day: close the sky over Ukraine. Close for all Russian missiles, for Russian combat aircraft, for all their terrorists,” he said.

“If you don’t, if you don’t give us at least planes so we can protect ourselves, there’s only one thing to conclude: you want us to be killed very slowly.”

Putin stands next to Aeroflot stewardesses holding flowers
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with flight personnel, students and employees of the Aeroflot Aviation School [Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin/Sputnik via Reuters]

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Saturday that Moscow would consider a third-party declaration to close Ukrainian airspace to be a hostile act, and the West so far has rebuffed Zelenskyy’s pleas, fearing a confrontation with Russia.

Source: News Agencies