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Russia admits striking Kyiv during UN chief’s visit


Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said the strikes were an attempt by Russia ‘to humiliate the UN’

Russia confirmed Friday it carried out an air strike on Kyiv during a visit by the UN chief, the first such attack on the Ukrainian capital in nearly two weeks, and in which a journalist also died.

Vera Gyrych, a producer for the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, died when a Russian missile slammed into the building where she lived in Kyiv, the media group said.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said the strikes, which immediately followed his talks with Guterres, were an attempt by Russia “to humiliate the UN and everything that the organisation represents”.

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Germany condemned the “inhumane” attack that showed Russian President Vladimir Putin has “no respect whatsoever for international law”.

The powerful blast had ripped out walls and doors, leaving piles of rubble on the ground.

“It’s inhuman behaviour,” the 22-year-old told AFP.

– More than 8,000 alleged war crimes –

Guterres, who was in Kyiv after talks in Moscow with Putin, had called war “evil” after visiting Bucha and demanded the Kremlin cooperate with an International Criminal Court investigation into the accusations.

Those cases involve “killing civilians, bombing of civilian infrastructure, torture” and “sexual crimes” reported during Russia’s occupation of various parts of Ukraine, prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova told a German broadcaster.

“We’re also using British intelligence to help show the links between what is happening on the front line and the Russian authorities because it’s important that everybody in the chain of command is held to account,” she added.

Ukrainian authorities said they planned to evacuate civilians Friday from the besieged Azovstal steel plant, the last holdout in Mariupol where hundreds of people are sheltering with Ukrainian troops.

In an early morning statement on Telegram, defenders of the factory said shelling had struck a field hospital inside the plant, causing it to collapse.

With the war claiming thousands of lives, Kyiv has admitted Russian forces have captured a string of villages in the Donbas region.

In the region of Kharkiv, Ukrainian forces said they recaptured a key village, Ruska Lozova, from the Russians.

More Western armaments are due to arrive in Ukraine, with US President Joe Biden on Thursday seeking a $33 billion aid package for the country.

“The cost of this fight is not cheap. But caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen,” said Biden, whose announcement was hailed by Zelensky as an “important step”

While Biden said the United States was sending 10 anti-tank weapons for every Russian tank, Ukraine’s air force commander said his country’s anti-aircraft systems were unable to strike higher altitude bombers.

“We need medium and long-range anti-aircraft systems” and “modern fighters”, said Mykola Olechchuk.

The cost of the war has reverberated across Europe, with Brussels publishing data showing that output growth for the eurozone has slowed to 0.2 percent, while consumer prices have leapt by a record 7.4 percent in April.

Another 7.7 million others are displaced internally, the IOM said, appealing for $514 million to help.

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