Russia launched an air strike against Kyiv as African leaders were visiting the city to carry out their peace mission. The raid was condemned by Andriy Yermak, head of the office of the Ukrainian presidency, who slammed Russian President Vladimir Putin for not showing any regard for the safety of foreign leaders, let alone Ukrainian civilians.
He wrote on messaging app Telegram: “The Russian missile attack took place just when the leaders of African countries arrived in the capital.
“Putin wants to demonstrate that he is willing to disregard the safety of foreign leaders, he actually doesn’t care because he feels complete impunity. And anyone can be in the place of the leaders of African countries.”
Mr Yermak added rockets flew also as US president Joe Biden and UN secretary general António Guterres were visiting Ukraine.
He continued: “The world must understand that consolidation and the toughest possible position towards Russia are now necessary.
“It is necessary to show strength to the state that undermines global security and acts with terrorist methods.”
After urging world leaders to “unite around the peace formula” proposed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the political aide added: “Only strong diplomacy and a strong position can put an end to Russian terrorism.
“Because it concerns everyone, every state that wants to exist and preserve the world order.”
The Ukrainian air force said Kyiv’s defence system shot down six Kinzhal ballistic missiles, six Kalibr cruise missiles and two reconnaissance drones.
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Kyiv’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko previously said to have heard explosions in the Podilsky district, before explaining the noise was due to the air defence forces at work.
The Russian attack reportedly caused no damage to the city’s infrastructure or its people.
The attack came as South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is leading a delegation of African leaders to try and mediate between Russia and Moscow.
The politicians were photographed being shown pictures of the horrific mass grave discovered in Bucha after it was liberated from Russian troops, as well as paying tribute to the victims at a commemorative site.
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They were also filmed being briefed at St Michael’s Square in the Shevchenkivskyi District by representatives of Ukraine’s Defence Ministry.
Mr Ramaphosa, who has been speaking about his country’s warm relations with Russia over the past few months, and the other leaders will head to Moscow tomorrow.
Ukraine remains sceptical about the mission despite welcoming the visit, and stressed the proposal should respect its territorial integrity.
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