Ukraine’s capital Kyiv resembled scenes from a disaster movie following days of shelling, defence minister Oleksii Reznikov has said.
Large explosions rocked Kyiv early on Tuesday as Ukraine and Russia inched closer to a diplomatic truce for the ongoing war.
Two people died after a 16-storey apartment block was set alight by Russian shelling in the Svyatoshynskyi district in western Kyiv on Tuesday. Thirty-five people were rescued from the building but two bodies were found at the scene. There was also damage to a nine-storey residential building during the bombardment.
On Monday morning, Russian forces attacked a residential building in the north of the capital, killing one person and injuring dozens of others.
Later, a Russian missile was intercepted by the Ukrainian air defence system but the debris from it rained down from the sky and killed another person and injured six others.
“Kyiv, one of the most beautiful cities in the EU, today looks like a frame of an apocalypse movie,” Mr Reznikov said on Monday.
He added that other cities in Ukraine such as Sumy, Kharkiv and Mariupol were also in a terrible condition. “This is what the world carries with it: deaths of people, destruction not only cities but democracy, rights, freedoms. They aren’t Slavs. They’re orcs. But we’ll win,” he wrote on Twitter.
Two more people were killed in another tragic incident on Monday when Russia struck a plane factory near Kyiv that sparked a massive fire. Seven people were also injured.
Rescue services officials said “rescuers who arrived on the scene found that as a result of enemy shelling between residential five- and 10-storey buildings, a fire broke out in two apartments on the third and fourth floors of a five-storey residential building”.
Reports said that the emergency services rescued 15 people and 63 others were evacuated after a shell hit the ninth floor of a residential building in the Obolon district, a northern suburb of the Ukrainian capital.
Near the western city of Lviv, Russian airstrikes hit a large military base that killed 35 people and left more than 130 injured.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to rebuild every destroyed Ukrainian street and building after these attacks.
Meanwhile, as fierce fighting continues, Zelensky said the talks between Ukraine and Russia’s delegations will continue on Tuesday as well, a day after he signalled minor success in the peace talks. The negotiators, Mr Zelensky said, have taken a technical pause.
Marking its 20th day in Ukraine, the Russian military invading the country has “stalled”, a senior US defence official has said.
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