Russia hits Kyiv with missiles as UN boss Guterres visits

UN Secretary general Antonio Guterres with Zelenskiy in Kyiv

UN Secretary general Antonio Guterres with Zelenskiy in Kyiv

Russia fired two missiles into Kyiv on Thursday during a visit by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Ukrainian officials said.

The rockets shook a central district in Ukraine’s capital and one of them hit a residential building, injuring at least three people, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

Russia withdrew its invading forces from near Kyiv in early April after failing to capture the city, which has since hosted visits by top officials from the United States and its European allies.

But Thursday’s blasts, heard soon after Guterres completed talks with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, highlighted concerns that Kyiv still remains vulnerable to Russian heavy weaponry.

“There was an attack on Kyiv … it shocked me, not because I’m here but because Kyiv is a sacred city for Ukrainians and Russians alike,” Guterres told Portuguese broadcaster RTP when asked about the blasts.

There was no immediate Russian comment on the blasts.

Zelenskiy said they “prove that we must not drop our vigilance. We must not think that the war is over.”

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Guterres’ discussions with Zelenskiy focused in part on evacuating Ukrainian fighters and civilians holed up in a steel plant in the besieged southeastern city of Mariupol, Russia’s main target in the eastern Donbas region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in principles to U.N. and Red Cross involvement in evacuating the plant during separate talks in Moscow with Guterres on Tuesday.

Ukrainian officials worry Russia wants to capture those trapped inside, an allegation Moscow denies.

The West believes battles for Mariupol and other eastern and southern areas may determine the war’s outcome.

Russian forces are now entrenched in the east, where Moscow-backed separatists have held some territory since 2014, and also hold a swathe of the south they seized in March.

Ukraine’s general staff said Russia was stepping up its military assault in the Donbas.

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