Two killed in Russian strikes on Kyiv, aircraft factory ablaze - city officials

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By Reuters
Two killed in Russian strikes on Kyiv, aircraft factory ablaze - city officials
Two killed in Russian strikes on Kyiv, aircraft factory ablaze - city officials   -  Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022

LVIV, Ukraine – At least one person was killed when a Russian shell smashed into an apartment block in Kyiv on Monday and a second person was killed by falling debris after a missile strike on another part of the Ukrainian capital, city authorities said.

Three Russian rockets also hit the Antonov aircraft factory in Kyiv and firefighters “localised” a blaze at the plant, Deputy Mayor Mykola Povoroznyk said. There were no immediate reports of any deaths at the factory.

Ukrainian television footage showed firefighters clambering through rubble and up a ladder into what was left of the smouldering apartment block that was hit in Kyiv’s Obolon district. A corpse lay on the ground, the face covered.

Maksim Korovii, a resident of the badly damaged building, said he had hidden in a closet after being woken by his mother with smoke and dust everywhere.

“We thought that we were being captured, that the Russians were getting in through the door. But we were wrong. We got out from the apartment and saw that the staircase was not there any more, everything was on fire,” he said, clutching a guitar as he tried to retrieve whatever of his belongings he could find.

“We managed to put on whatever clothes we had at hand and made our way from balcony to balcony and in the end we climbed down by the next building’s entrance.”

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the second death on Monday was in the Kurenivka neighbourhood of the capital.

Kyiv, a city of about 3 million in peacetime, has repeatedly come under fire since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Russia says it does not target civilians, describing its actions in Ukraine as a “special operation” to demilitarise and “denazify” its neighbour. Ukraine and Western allies call this a baseless pretext for a war of choice.

Towns near Kyiv were being evacuated for the fifth successive day, regional governor Oleksiy Kuleba said as occasional explosions were heard in the distance.

The extent of the damage at the Antonov factory was not immediately clear.

Antonov, which was founded in the Soviet Union in 1946, has manufactured some 30 different types of airplane including the two biggest air cargo planes – the An-124 Ruslan and An-225 Mriya.

Ukrainian state arms manufacturer Ukroboronprom said last month that the Mriya, which can carry up to 250 tonnes, had been set ablaze in a Russian attack and that restoring it would cost more than $3 billion.