Russia fires 31 missiles at Kyiv in first attack in 44 days

AP , Thursday 21 Mar 2024

Russia fired 31 ballistic and cruise missiles at Kyiv before dawn Thursday in the first attack on the Ukrainian capital in 44 days, officials said. Air defenses shot down all the incoming missiles, though 13 people including a child were injured by falling wreckage, they said.

A Russian self-propelled 300 mm multiple rocket launcher  Smerch  fires rockets toward a Ukrainian p
A Russian self-propelled 300 mm multiple rocket launcher Smerch fires rockets toward a Ukrainian position, in an undisclosed location, in Ukraine. AP

 

Residents of Kyiv were woken up by loud explosions around 5 a.m. as the missiles arrived at roughly the same time from different directions, said Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv City Administration.

Ukraine’s air force said Russia launched two ballistic missiles and 29 cruise missiles against the capital.

An 11-year-old girl and a 38-year-old man were hospitalized, the city administration said. Eight other people sustained light injuries, according to Mayor Vitali Klitschko.

Ukraine's Emergency Service said around 80 people were evacuated from their homes.

Falling wreckage from the intercepted missiles set fire to at least one apartment building, burned parked cars and left craters in streets and a small park. Some streets were littered with debris, including glass from shattered windows.

The attack came after repeated Ukraine aerial attacks in recent days on Russia's Belgorod region near the border with Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had threatened Wednesday to “respond in kind” to the attacks.

At an event in the Kremlin, Putin said Russia “can respond in the same way regarding civilian infrastructure and all other objects of this kind that the enemy attacks. We have our own views on this matter and our own plans. We will follow what we have outlined.”

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