Russia struck Ukraine’s capital Kyiv with missiles early on Sunday for the first time in more than a month, while Ukrainian officials said a counter-attack on the main battlefield in the east had retaken half of the city of Sievierodonetsk.
Dark smoke could be seen from many miles away after the attack on two outlying districts of Kyiv. Ukraine said the strike hit a rail car repair works; Moscow said it had destroyed tanks sent by Eastern European countries to Ukraine.
At least one person was hospitalised though there were no immediate reports of deaths. The strike was a sudden reminder of war in a capital where normal life has largely returned since Russian forces were driven from its outskirts in March.
“The Kremlin resorts to new insidious attacks. Today’s missile strikes at Kyiv have only one goal – kill as many as possible,” tweeted Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited front-line troops in the southeastern region of Zaporizhzhia, his office said on Sunday.
Sunday’s attack was the first big strike on Kyiv since late April, when a missile killed a journalist. Recent weeks have seen Russia focus its destructive might mainly on front lines in the east and south, although Moscow occasionally strikes elsewhere in what it calls a campaign to degrade Ukraine’s military infrastructure and block Western arms shipments.
The United States said last week it would send new, advanced medium-range rocket systems to Ukraine, which Kyiv hopes will help tip the balance in the conflict. Washington has ruled out sending longer-range munitions and says Kyiv has promised not to strike inside Russia.