Kyiv: Mykhailo Vovchynskyi had just moved into a new building near the center of Kyiv when the latter was hit by a Russian missile on Thursday. He shuddered when he learned that Moscow had confirmed on Friday that it had fired a “high-precision” missile to hit the military plant opposite.
The blast killed a journalist, injured ten people and damaged the building so much that it forced it to move. This also happened during the first visit of the UN Secretary General to Kyiv.
“If it’s a high-precision attack, it’s really cynical. It’s inhumane,” the 22-year-old told AFP on Friday after he and his girlfriend removed from the building things they brought there two weeks ago.
As he speaks, cars clear the debris, and rescuers clean the broken glass and inspect the building, the facade of which was destroyed on three levels by a strike.
Rescuers also pulled the body from the building on a stretcher and wrapped it in a bag and took it to the morgue: the strike surprised Vera Girich, a journalist with Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, confirmed a United States-funded radio station.
“We have lost our beloved colleague, who is especially valued for her professionalism and dedication to her mission,” Radio Liberty President James Fly said in a press release.
Since the start of the war, Russia has been accused of deliberately striking residential areas, although Moscow says it is doing everything to spare civilians.
“Russians are not afraid of anything”
The road that crosses the area affected on Thursday borders on one side with apartment buildings, on the other – with the site of the company “Artem”, which was obviously the target of Moscow.
Russia has said it is aiming for the space company’s workshop. According to the information site of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine armyinform.com.ua, Artem is one of the enterprises of the Ukrainian state military-industrial complex “Ukroboronprom” and produces missiles.
When asked by Ukroboronprom, this information was not confirmed immediately. AFP was able to see that some of the factory buildings were in ruins and blackened by flames.
The blast also smashed windows and cracks in walls hundreds of meters away, severely damaging a nearby state clinic.
“I don’t think the Russians are afraid of anything, not even the judgments of the rest of the world,” Anna Gromovich, the clinic’s deputy director, told AFP.
Inside, broken doors and sections of the ceiling are mixed with children’s toys in the waiting room.
Thursday’s strike, less than an hour after Antonio Guterres’ press conference a few kilometers away, also ended a relatively quiet period for the Ukrainian capital and its region, which has had more strikes since April 17.
Ever since Russian troops left the outskirts of the capital on March 31, the city has resumed a semblance of normal life – despite constant checkpoints, howling sirens for air raids or a shortage of gasoline.
Thursday’s strike was a reminder that the war was still going on.
“We already had a strike in our area, so we didn’t expect more. We said to ourselves, “You don’t bathe in the same water twice,” said 55-year-old Natalia Karpenko, a recruiting owner who lives near the strike site. A strike took place in the neighboring Shevchenkivskyi district on March 23, injuring four people.
But despite the threat, it does not intend to leave Ukraine, as more than 5.4 million Ukrainians have done since the Russian invasion began on February 24.
“Yesterday we planted flowers near our house. War is war, ”she shrugs.