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Kyiv endures third Russian bombardment in five days

Ukrainian city of Kyiv was hit by missiles for the third time in five days by Russian armed forces, with President Zelenskyy asking for more air defences.

Russia continued to launch missiles at Kyiv on Monday – the third time in five days – as it mounts an escalating aerial assault on Ukrainian regions. 

Nine people were injured in the strike on the capital, the Ukraine Rescue Service said. The Pecherskyi district was hit the hardest. Ukraine’s National Police said missile debris damaged homes in two districts and a college gym in another district.

Russia fired two ballistic missiles at Kyiv from occupied Crimea in the daylight attack but both warheads were intercepted above the city, said Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv City Military Administration.

Ukrainian news outlets reported there were at least two explosions in the southern city of Odesa and other regions. Up to 300 apartments were damaged with ten people injured. 

Russia attacked Kyiv for the first time in six weeks on Friday, firing more than two dozen missiles before dawn. Moscow also unleashed a massive attack against Ukraine’s energy sector, killing at least five people and causing widespread power outage.

Kharkiv residents had to adjust to the blackout schedule. Russian troops attacked the war-town last Tuesday with drones, with one civilian reportedly injured. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy renewed his appeal for Western partners to provide more air defence systems to protect against the unrelenting attacks. “We never tire of repeating that Ukraine needs more air defence,” he said. “This is security for our cities and saves human lives.”

Days of intense Ukrainian shelling of the Russian border region of Belgorod led Russia to announce plans to evacuate.

The bombardment of Kyiv comes three days after a concert hall attack in Russia killed more than 130 people. Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to tie the attack to Ukraine, even though an affiliate of the Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

Analysts said Putin could use the Moscow attack to shore-up support for the war and as a pretext to escalate attacks on Ukraine.

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