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Putin launches missile strikes on Kyiv

Putin launches missile strikes on Kyiv

A

t least five people were wounded after Russia launched missile strikes on at least two residential buildings in Kyiv.

Ukraine Member of Parliament Oleksiy Goncharenko wrote on the Telegram messaging app that “according to prelim data 14 missiles were launched against Kyiv region and Kyiv.”

Prior to the attack, Kyiv had not faced any such Russian airstrikes since June 5.

Russian artillery hit Kyiv’s central Shevchenkivskiy district on Sunday morning, partially destroying a nine-storey apartment building and causing a fire, the city’s mayor Vitali Klitschko said on the Telegram messaging app.

“There are people under the rubble,” Klitschko said. He added that several people had already been hospitalised.

“They (the rescuers) have pulled out a seven-year-old girl. She is alive. Now they’re trying to rescue her mother.”

US President Joe Biden said condemned the strikes as ” barbarism”.

It came as British defence chiefs said Russia’s capture of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine marks a “significant achievement” in its war objectives.

The latest Ministry of Defence (MoD) update revealed that most Ukrainian forces have withdrawn from the war-torn city in the Donbas.

A damaged residential building, hit by Russian missiles in Kyiv on Sunday

/ AFP via Getty Images

It read: “In April 2020, Russia revised its immediate campaign plan from aiming to occupy the majority of Ukraine, to a more focused offensive in the Donbas.

“Russia’s capture of the city is a significant achievement within this reduced objective. The settlement was a major industrial centre and it occupies a strategic position on the Siverskyi Donets River.”

However, the MoD adds it is “only one of several challenging objectives Russia will need to achieve to occupy the whole of the Donbas region”.

“These include advancing on the major centre of Kramatorsk and securing the main supply routes to Donetsk city,” it adds.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Western allies to stand firm over Ukraine as leaders met at the G7 summit in Bavaria.

He warned that ‘the price of backing down’ against Russia will be ‘far, far higher’ than supporting Ukraine amid speculation about the appetite of Western leaders to continue to support Ukraine during a prolonged conflict.

The leaders are meeting at a summit which began on Sunday to discuss how to secure energy supplies and tackle inflation, aiming to keep the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from splintering the global coalition working to punish Moscow.

Mr Biden and Mr Johnson announced that the United States and other Group of Seven leading economies will ban imports of gold from Russia, the latest in a series of sanctions that the club of democracies hopes will further isolate Russia economically.

Mr Johnson said the ban on Russian gold will “directly hit Russian oligarchs and strike at the heart of Putin’s war machine”.

“Putin is squandering his dwindling resources on this pointless and barbaric war. He is bankrolling his ego at the expense of both the Ukrainian and Russian people,” Johnson said. “We need to starve the Putin regime of its funding.”

Serhiy Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk province, said on Friday that Ukrainian troops were retreating from Sieverodonetsk after weeks of bombardment and house-to-house fighting.

He confirmed on Saturday that the city had fallen to Russian and separatist fighters, who he said were now trying to blockade the neighboring city of Lysychansk from the south. The city lies across the river just to the west of Sievierodonetsk.

Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted a spokesman for the separatist forces, Andrei Marochko, as saying Russian troops and separatist fighters had entered Lysychansk and that fighting was taking place in the heart of the city. There was no immediate comment on the claim from the Ukrainian side.

Lysychansk and Sieverodonetsk have been the focal point of a Russian offensive aimed at capturing all of the Donbas and destroying the Ukrainian military defending it – the most capable and battle-hardened segment of the country’s armed forces.

Capturing Lysychansk would give Russian forces control of every major settlement in the province, a significant step toward Russia’s aim of capturing the entire Donbas.

The Russians and separatists control about half of Donetsk, the second province in the Donbas.

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