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Ten wounded in Russian missile attack on Kyiv

Ukraine: position of military forces (Valentin RAKOVSKY)
Ukraine: position of military forces (Valentin RAKOVSKY)

Ten people including a teenage girl were wounded on Monday after Ukrainian air defence systems downed two Russian missiles over the capital, sending metal debris crashing to the ground.

Authorities in the eastern Kharkiv region also announced a 65-year-old man had died in the courtyard of his home during a bout of Russian shelling.

AFP journalists in Kyiv saw emergency workers in helmets clearing concrete and bent metal from one building ripped open during the attack, the third aerial bombardment of the capital in just five days.

Moscow has escalated its aerial attacks on Kyiv, targeting key infrastructure in the wake of fatal Ukrainian bombardments on Russian border regions.

AFP reporters heard several explosions and air raid sirens in Kyiv almost simultaneously at around 10:30am (0830 GMT) as officials urged residents to take shelter.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said the attack showed again that Ukraine needed better air defence systems from its allies.

"It means safety for our cities and saved human lives. All of us in the world who respect and protect life need to stop this terror," he wrote on social media.

Emergency services said 10 people were wounded, while Kyiv's Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the teenager was among those taken to hospital, and two pregnant women suffered acute stress reactions.

Oksana, a Kyiv resident, was at work when she first heard the air raid sirens and then a blast.

"Before I could do anything, the first explosion hit," she told AFP. "There was a cloud of dust, smashed cars, windows, everything."

The head of Kyiv's military administration, Sergiy Popko, said Russia had attacked with two ballistic missiles launched from the annexed Crimean peninsula.

- Attack on Russian power plant -

He said both had been shot down but falling debris crashed onto several central districts. Officials said an arts academy building and a gym were damaged.

"Again this morning Russia is attacking Ukraine with hypersonic missiles," the US ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, wrote on social media.

"Ukraine needs our assistance now. There is not a moment to lose," she added, in reference to a $60 billion military aid package held up in the US Congress.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba posted footage purporting to show school children running to a shelter at the time of the attack.

"This is a reminder that Ukraine urgently requires more air defence, particularly Patriot systems and missiles capable of repelling any Russian attack," he wrote.

The eastern city of Chasiv Yar was also facing a "difficult and tense" situation, a Ukrainian army official said late Monday.

Russian forces were "trying to push through our defences in order to reach Chasiv Yar," said Oleg Kalashnikov, press officer for Ukraine's 26th Artillery Brigade, adding that Moscow was dropping powerful guided bombs "on populated areas and on our fortified positions".

Monday's attacks came after a dozen people were wounded in a Russian drone strike on southern Ukraine overnight, and a fire broke out at a major Russian power plant following a Ukrainian drone attack.

Kyiv said Russian drones had hit the southern regions of Mykolaiv and Odesa.

Some 300,000 people in Odesa were left without electricity on Monday night after energy infrastructure in the Black Sea territory was damaged.

- 'NATO security threatened' -

Russia's assault on Ukraine spilled over into Poland at the weekend.

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski spoke to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday about a Russian missile that briefly violated Polish airspace over the weekend.

Poland summoned the Russian ambassador to Warsaw over the incident but Sergey Andreyev failed to show up and told Russia's RIA Novosti news agency that he was first waiting for proof of the incursion.

Sikorski told Stoltenberg that the incident was further evidence that Russia, "which is continuing its unjustified and brutal aggression against Ukraine, also threatens the security of NATO member states", the foreign ministry said in a statement.

In Russia, a fire broke out at a power plant in the southern region of Rostov, the local governor said, after a wave of Ukrainian drone attacks in the area.

Two power units at the Novocherkassk power station, one of the largest in southwest Russia, were taken offline, Governor Vasily Golubev said on social media.

The Rostov region borders Ukraine and the regional capital is home to Russia's military command headquarters for its offensive against Kyiv.

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