Two people killed in Kyiv airstrikes as Russia attack on capital hits residential building

Footage showed firefighters clambering through rubble of the smouldering apartment block

Joe Middleton
Monday 14 March 2022 13:40 GMT
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Two people have been killed in Russian airstrikes on the Ukraine capital Kyiv.

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.

It comes as Russia has stepped up its attacks on Kyiv, following an attack on an aircraft plant earlier on Monday.

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.

Three Russian rockets also hit the Antonov aircraft factory in Kyiv sparking a large blaze at the plant. There were no immediate reports of any deaths.

Firefighters continue to fight to put out the blaze after an airstrike in Kyiv
Firefighters continue to fight to put out the blaze after an airstrike in Kyiv (AP)
Rescuers help a woman evacuate a residential building that was struck
Rescuers help a woman evacuate a residential building that was struck (via REUTERS)

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.

The continuing Russian bombardments meant that towns near Kyiv were being evacuated for the fifth successive day, regional governor Oleksiy Kuleba said.

In other developments Ukraine and Russia have agreed to 10 “humanitarian corridors”, including from towns near the capital Kyiv and in the eastern region of Luhansk.

Deputy prime minister Iryna Vereschuk said in a video address: “We will, once again, try to unblock the movement of the humanitarian convoy carrying food and medicine to {the port city of Mariupol) from Berdiansk (in southeastern Ukraine).”

However there was no announcement for the southern port city of Mariupol, which has been surrounded by Russian forces and has seen some of the most intense fighting of the war.

A local resident searches for her belongings in an apartment building after it was hit by artillery shelling in Kyiv
A local resident searches for her belongings in an apartment building after it was hit by artillery shelling in Kyiv (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
A resident carries his cat that was rescued from his home after being hit by an air strike in Kyiv
A resident carries his cat that was rescued from his home after being hit by an air strike in Kyiv (REUTERS)

The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer warned that residents in the city “have endured a weeks-long life-and-death nightmare”.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said more than 2,400 civilians have been killed in the city since the invasion began.

Meanwhile, one of president Vladimir Putin’s closest allies said Russia’s military operation in Ukraine had not all gone as quickly as the Kremlin had wanted.

National Guard chief Viktor Zolotov, speaking at a church service led by Orthodox Patriarch Kirill on Sunday, blamed the slower than expected progress on what he said were far-right Ukrainian forces hiding behind civilians, an accusation repeatedly made by officials in Russia.

A staff member exits a large food products storage facility which was destroyed by an airstrike in the early morning hours in Brovary, north of Kyiv
A staff member exits a large food products storage facility which was destroyed by an airstrike in the early morning hours in Brovary, north of Kyiv (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
This map shows the extent of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
This map shows the extent of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (Press Association Images)

“I would like to say that yes, not everything is going as fast as we would like,” Mr Zolotov, once in charge of Putin’s personal security, said in comments posted on the National Guard’s website.

“...But we are going towards our goal step by step and victory will be for us, and this icon will protect the Russian army and accelerate our victory.”

Moscow’s admission that things were not going to plan military comes as Ukraine said it would seek to discuss a ceasefire, immediate withdrawal of troops and security guarantees with Russia.

“Negotiations. 4th round. On peace, ceasefire, immediate withdrawal of troops & security guarantees. Hard discussion,” Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak said online.

Amid the peace talks Russia today denied reports it has asked China for help with military equipment, despite claims from the US.

People that fled the war in Ukraine wait at Przemysl train station, in Przemysl, Poland
People that fled the war in Ukraine wait at Przemysl train station, in Przemysl, Poland (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskovsaid on Monday that Russia could take full control of major Ukrainian cities without any help or military assistance from China.

“Russia possesses its own independent potential to continue the operation,” Mr Peskov said. “As we said, it is going according to plan and will be completed on time and in full.”

When asked about remarks by US officials who had said that Russia had asked China for military equipment and financial aid, Peskov said: “No.”

Also today, a high-voltage power line to Chernobyl nuclear plant was damaged by Russian forces - just hours after electricity supplies were restored to the facility, grid operator Ukrenergo said in a statement.

It did not say if all external power supply to the plant had been lost as a result of the damage, but demanded access to the area to carry out repairs.

Ukrenergo did not produce evidence of the damage or the actions of the Russian forces and Reuters was unable to independently verify the extent of the damage or the cause of it.

Additional reporting by agencies

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