Russia launches missile attack on Kyiv for third time in five days

Ukrainian first responders walk in the rubble of a building in the Pecherskyi district, after a Russian air attack in Kyiv, Ukraine (AP)
Ukrainian first responders walk in the rubble of a building in the Pecherskyi district, after a Russian air attack in Kyiv, Ukraine (AP)

Russia has launched a missile attack on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv to the third time in five days, injuring 10 people, as Moscow ramps up its aerial assault across the country.

Roughly 190 missiles and 140 drones have been fired at targets across Ukraine across the last week, according to the foreign ministry in Kyiv.

Fired uncharacteristically late in the day - usually the attacks happen overnight - it caught thousands of civilians off-guard as air raid sirens resounded just seconds before a hypersonic “Zircon” missile tore through a multistorey building in the central district of Pechersk.

“It is another day of horror in Kyiv,” said Ukrainian MP Kira Rudik. “The missiles that attacked us, they launched very quickly. The explosions were right at the same time as the air raid sirens.

“Today is just another horrifying example of what will go on and on with Russia unless they are stopped.”

The Mayor of Kyiv, Vitaliy Klitschko, said at least 10 people had been injured as a result of the missile hit in the Pechersk district, including a 16-year-old girl. He posted footage on the Telegram messenger site of rescuers searching through the rubble for more survivors. Missile debris also damaged homes in two districts, Ukraine’s National Police said.

Footage shared by Ukrainian foreign minister. Dmytro Kuleba, meanwhile, showed a group of children frantically running for cover after the delayed siren.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky later led a chorus of officials calling for more air defences to mitigate against further attacks.

“Russian terrorists attacked the capital with ballistic missiles,” he wrote on Telegram. “We never tire of repeating that Ukraine needs more air defence. This is security for our cities and saves human lives. All of us in the world who respect and protect life must stop this terror.”

Later in the day, Ukrainian news outlets reported at least two explosions in the southern city of Odesa as Russian missile strikes also targeted several other regions. There was no immediate word on injuries or damage there.

It comes as preliminary estimates from Ukraine’s national energy company Ukrenergo suggested that Russia’s devastating missile attack last Friday caused more than €90 million (£77m) of damage to the power grid. More than 150 missiles and drones were fired across Ukraine in the early hours of Friday, plunging more than a million Ukrainians into temporary blackouts, in what Kyiv claimed was a deliberate attempt to hit energy infrastructure.

Three days later, access to electricity in the southern region of Odessa and the northeastern region of Kharkiv remained patchy, Mariia Tsaturian, a representative of Ukrenergo, told The Independent.

She said more than 100 restoration specialists were working to repair the grid but that it could take up to a week to fix access to the grid in Kharkiv - and that is provided that Russia does not launch another attack.

“The most difficult situation is in Kharkiv,” she said. “The damages are high there. Our restoration teams, together with some colleagues working on the distribution grid, are trying to find some tricky, creative solutions to return power to the city and to the district of the region.”

Local governor Oleh Syniehubov reported that certain districts would be without power for up to six hours a day until at least April.