Girl and mother among three killed in Russian attack on Kyiv - police

  • World
  • Thursday, 01 Jun 2023

The view shows a local clinic, which was heavily damaged during a Russian missile strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine, June 1, 2023. Kyiv City Military Administration/Handout via REUTERS

KYIV (Reuters) -A girl, her mother and another woman were killed during a Russian missile strike on Kyiv on Thursday after the air raid shelter they rushed to failed to open, witnesses said.

Ukraine's air force said air defences shot down all 10 ballistic and Iskander cruise missiles fired by Russia in the 18th attack on the capital since the start of May.

But Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said three school buildings, a kindergarten, six residential buildings and a police station were damaged. He did not say what the main targets of the attack were but the energy ministry said no energy facilities were hit.

Police said three people were killed including a nine-year-old girl and her mother, and opened a criminal investigation into events near a medical clinic in the Desnyanskyi district. City officials had earlier said the girl was 11.

"Three people, one of them a child, died near the clinic last night," Klitschko said. "A rocket fragment fell near the entrance to the clinic four minutes after the air alert was announced. And people headed for the shelter."

Local residents said people were unable to enter the shelter because it was closed.

"The air alert sounded. My wife took our daughter and they ran to the entrance here," local resident Yaroslav Ryabchuk told Reuters in the Desnyanskyi district. "The entrance was closed, there were already maybe five to 10 women with children. No one opened up for them. They knocked loudly enough."

"They tried to enter the shelter, no one opened up for them. My wife died," he said.

Russia has denied targeting civilians or committing war crimes but its forces have caused devastation in Ukrainian cities and repeatedly hit residential areas since its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022.

Russia has intensified missile and drone attacks on the Ukrainian capital as Kyiv prepares to launch a counteroffensive. Russia says Ukrainian shelling of border areas has increased in recent weeks as Kyiv prepares its counterattack.

(Additional reporting by Ron Popeski; Editing by Timothy Heritage and Ros Russell)

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