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31 Jul, 2023 10:59

Kiev accuses Moscow of missile strike on residential building

Russia has on numerous occasions rejected Ukrainian claims that it attacks civilian targets
Kiev accuses Moscow of missile strike on residential building

Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of striking two civilian buildings in Krivoy Rog, a city in Dnepropetrovsk Region and birthplace of President Vladimir Zelensky. Moscow has insisted its policy is to never target sites that have no military value.

Reports of explosions in the town first came from its mayor, Aleksandr Vilkul, on Monday morning. The official stressed that people should not film or upload any images of what happened.

Interior Minister Igor Klimenko later in the day claimed that Russian forces had targeted the city with two missiles, one of which he said hit a residential building. He threatened anyone filming the aftermath with prosecution.

General Sergey Lysak, who heads the Dnepropetrovsk Region administration, said the second projectile hit a higher-education school. His preliminary report claimed there were two fatalities and 31 people injured in the incident. Two of the latter are in serious condition, he said.

Zelensky released images of the purported strikes on social media, claiming that Russia was “terrorizing peaceful cities.” The Russian Defense Ministry has yet to react to the latest allegations.

The Russian military has regularly insisted that Kiev's claims often refer to damage to civilian buildings caused by Ukraine’s own interceptor missiles that misfire or legitimate strikes on civilian buildings used for military purposes.

One infamous example of false claims from Kiev involved a missile that killed two Polish farmers near the border with Ukraine last November. Zelensky swiftly accused Russia of delivering the strike and urged “collective action” by NATO. Warsaw said the missile was most likely Ukrainian, but nevertheless placed the blame on Moscow for the incident.

Last week a missile hit a historic cathedral in the port city of Odessa. Zelensky claimed a Russian anti-ship weapon had been used, whereas Moscow said it had not been attacking any targets near the church and blamed the incompetence of Ukrainian air-defense forces for the incident.