Ukraine war: Kyiv hit by first air attack in 52 days, say authorities

A woman and young child sit in a metro station to shelter during an air raid in Kyiv
Image caption,A woman and young child sit in a metro station to shelter during an air raid in Kyiv

Ukraine’s capital Kyiv has been hit by the first Russian air attack in 52 days, according to city officials.

Writing on the Telegram messaging app, Kyiv’s mayor Vitali Klitschko said “strong explosions were heard” in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Preliminary information suggests air defence systems were able to intercept the missiles, Mr Klitschko said.

Residents have been ordered to take refuge in air raid shelters.

There have been no initial reports of casualties following the air attack, according to news agency Reuters.

The strikes came as President Volodomyr Zelensky marked the first anniversary of the liberation of Kherson from Russia.

Speaking to the city’s residents, he praised them for “inspiring the world with their resistance”.

In Odesa, the coastal district some 275 miles (442 km) from Kyiv, there were reports of at least two missile attacks.

According to the region’s head of administration, Oleg Kiper, three people were injured and a 96-year-old woman was hospitalised. Her condition is understood to be stable.

On Wednesday, Ukrainian officials said at least one person had been killed after a Russian missile struck a civilian ship entering Odesa.

A 43-year-old harbour pilot died, while three Filipino crewmembers and a port worker were injured.

At a G7 meeting in Japan this week, foreign ministers from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and the US – as well as EU representatives, said they recognised that Russia is prepared for a long war in Ukraine.

They also said the Israel-Gaza war should not distract from support for Ukraine and reiterated that they would continue to support Kyiv economically and militarily.

Kyiv is increasingly concerned about “Ukraine fatigue” among Western countries eroding its ability to hold off Russian forces.

Speaking exclusively to the BBC’s Europe Editor, Katya Adler, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was his country’s “duty” to help Ukraine.

He said if Russia were allowed to win its war, “you will have a new imperial power” in Europe, that could threaten other former Soviet states like Georgia and Kazakhstan, as well as the whole continent.

“Because, definitely, it’s imperialism and colonialism that Russia is doing [in Ukraine],” he said.

However, Mr Macron did suggest there may come a time for “fair and good negotiations” with Moscow.

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