Kyiv residential apartment block hit in Russian shelling

Mayor Vitali Klitschko says missile slams into high-rise building on southwestern outskirts; number of victims ‘being specified,’ evacuation underway, authorities say

A view of a high-rise apartment block, which was hit by recent shelling in Kyiv, on February 26, 2022. (Genya Savilov/AFP)
A view of a high-rise apartment block, which was hit by recent shelling in Kyiv, on February 26, 2022. (Genya Savilov/AFP)

The mayor of the Ukrainian capital said Saturday that a missile hit a residential apartment building but no casualties were immediately reported.

Rescue workers later said six civilians were injured in the strike and 80 people were relocated from the building.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the missile slammed into a high-rise building on the southwestern outskirts of Kyiv near Zhuliany airport on Saturday.

Klitschko posted an image on a messaging app, showing a gaping hole on one side of the building that ravaged apartment units and several stores.

He said in a video that the night had been “difficult,” with Russian “sabotage groups” in the capital. He insisted that there were no regular Russian troops in Kyiv, but said they were trying to enter from several directions.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine began Thursday with massive air and missile strikes and ground troops moving in from the north, east and south. The Russian military said on Saturday it had targeted Ukraine’s military infrastructure using cruise missiles fired from the air and sea.

Ukrainian emergency services said the high-rise apartment block was hit by shelling overnight as fighting raged between Russian attackers and Ukrainian forces.

Authorities posted a picture online of the tower block with a hole covering at least five floors blasted into the side and rubble strewn across the street below.

Earlier Saturday, an adviser to Ukraine’s president said that fighting is raging in the capital and in the country’s south, and that the Ukrainian military is successfully fending off Russian assaults.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said Saturday that small groups of Russian forces tried to infiltrate Kyiv and engaged in fighting with Ukrainian troops. He said that Russia wants to seize control of the Ukrainian capital and destroy the country’s leadership, but said the Russian military has failed to make any gains and that the Ukrainian forces control the situation in Kyiv.

He said Russian forces were also focusing on the country’s south, where intense fighting is underway in Kherson just north of Crimea, and in the Black Sea ports of Mykolaiv, Odesa and around Mariupol.

He said that Russia considers it a priority to seize the south, but it has failed to make any significant gains.

“Ukraine hasn’t simply withstood it. Ukraine is winning,” Podolyak said at a briefing.

Also Saturday, the mayor of a city south of the Ukrainian capital said that the country’s military has fended off a Russian attempt to take control of a military airbase.

Natalia Balansynovych, the mayor of Vasylkiv, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Kyiv, said Saturday that Russian airborne forces landed near the city overnight and tried to seize the base. She said fierce fighting also raged on Vasylkiv’s central street.

She said that Ukrainian forces repelled the Russian attacks and that the situation is now calm. Balansynovych said there were heavy casualties, but didn’t give any numbers.

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