KYIV, Ukraine — Russia targeted the Ukrainian capital Kiev again with a missile attack in the early hours of Thursday, killing two women and a child who were unable to reach a shelter. Loud explosions were heard just minutes after sirens sounded across the city, waking residents up after a month of constant attacks.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on messaging app Telegram that an additional 16 people were injured by debris from air defense systems that shot down the incoming attacks. The headquarters of the Ukrainian General Staff said that Kiev was attacked by a barrage of 10 Iskander ballistic missiles, all of which were shot down.
The city’s military administration said some debris fell on a clinic and a nearby building. A mother and her child were killed minutes after the air raid alert as they tried to reach shelter at the clinic, according to Mr. Klitschko and two emergency workers at the scene who declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak to the hospital. The media.
The deceased mother and child were not immediately identified.
A man who lived near the clinic, who gave his name as Yaroslav, told Ukraine’s public radio that his 33-year-old wife, Natalia, was also killed after she and their 9-year-old daughter, Polina, were unable to do so. Get into the shelter.
Yaroslav said that people were desperately trying to get in. “People have been knocking and banging for a very long time,” he said, adding, “There were women and children there and no one opened it.”
After what he described as an explosion, Jaroslav found a bleeding Natalia along with a blanket she had brought for their daughter and a blue briefcase containing family documents, Suspilne reports. Yaroslav said that his daughter, who was not injured, saw what happened to her mother.
Mr. Klitschko said city officials have opened a criminal investigation into the clinic and the officials responsible for operating the shelter there, focusing on whether the shelter was properly maintained and why it might have been inaccessible. He added that police officers will now patrol the shelters during airstrikes to ensure they are open.
“Now the investigation determines whether the shelter is open,” he said on Telegram.
It was another night when Kiev’s 3.6 million residents were rocked out of bed and sent fleeing for refuge. The military administration in Kiev said the attack, which took place early Thursday morning, left little time for residents to take cover, as air defenses hit the missiles six minutes after the warning went off.
Throughout the month of May, residents were subjected to 17 waves of air attacks at all times, including drone, ballistic and hypersonic attacks.
While Kiev has been under attack since the early days of the war, the pace and intensity of Russian attacks over the past month has been alarming even for civilians now accustomed to spending hours in bunkers and sleepless nights in the corridors. Thursday’s strikes seem to indicate that the campaign will continue into June.
On Wednesday, in a speech marking Universal Children’s Day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that at least 483 Ukrainian children have been killed since Russia’s full-scale invasion began, and that countless others have their rights to a safe environment, and education. And health care was violated by the Russian invasion. Other estimates indicate that the number of children killed may be higher.
“For 15 months, Russian aggression and terrorism has not only destroyed buildings, but also basic human rights – the basic rights of our children,” he said.
Officials in Kiev said that some Children’s Day events scheduled for Thursday have been cancelled. The First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, said, Twitter. “But today it is about new crimes” by the Russian Federation against children, she added.
The week began with a rare daytime assault on the Ukrainian capital, when missiles struck Kiev just after 11 a.m. on Monday and sent schoolchildren running in fear. Each missile was intercepted by air defense systems, but the debris caused fires and other damage.
Ukrainian officials said Russian forces have changed the timing of the bombing, the range of weapons used, and the trajectories of the missiles and drones, most recently by flying them low along riverbeds and through valleys to avoid detection.
Andrew E. Kramer And Nicole Tong Reported from Kiev, Ukraine, and Victoria Kim from Seoul. Mark Santora Contributed to reporting from Kyiv, and Justin Jones And Anushka Patel from New York. Dimitri Khavin contributed translation.