Zelenskyy: Russia’s Missile attack on Kyiv aimed to humiliate the United Nations

Russia said on Friday that its forces had destroyed the production facilities of a space-rocket plant in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv with high precision long-range missiles. “High-precision long-range air-based weapons destroyed the production facilities of the Artem rocket and space industry enterprise in the city of Kyiv,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. On Thursday, Russian missiles struck the center of Kyiv. One of the missiles hit an apartment building. As a result, according to Kyiv authorities, at least one person was killed. The explosions occurred shortly after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres held a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the city. In his daily video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian strikes on Thursday were an attempt to “humiliate” the global organization. The missiles hit a residential neighborhood in Kyiv less than an hour after he and UN chief Antonio Guterres held a joint press conference some 3.5 kilometers (2 miles) away. “Today, immediately after the end of our talks in Kyiv, Russian missiles flew into the city. Five missiles,” Zelensky said. “This says a lot… about the Russian leadership’s efforts to humiliate the UN and everything that the organization represents.” Zelenskyy added that it required “a correspondingly powerful reaction.” At least three people were wounded in the attack, with reports of one fatality. It was the first such attack since mid-April. Two days earlier, Guterres held talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said he remained hopeful that negotiations could end the conflict. Ukraine’s presidency has said in a statement that an operation is planned on Friday to evacuate civilians from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in the southern city of Mariupol. The announcement comes a day after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the world body was “doing everything” to enable civilians to be rescued from the port city. The steel plant has been under constant shelling by Russian forces, who are trying to dislodge the last fighters defending the city, which has been devastated in the war. Numerous civilians are reported to be holed up at the facility along with the fighters. The Mariupol city council has said about 100,000 city residents are in danger of their lives from the Russian shelling and because of unsanitary conditions and shortages of water and food. On Tuesday, at talks with Guterres, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed “in principle” to the involvement of the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross in evacuating the Azovstal plant. Russia continues to focus on the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine with the aim of gaining control over the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the UK Defence Ministry has said in an intelligence update. However, it said Russian forces had made only limited territorial gains and incurred significant losses in the face of strong Ukrainian resistance. The military intelligence report said there had been heavy fighting around the towns of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk and that Russian forces have tried to advance south from Izium toward Slovyansk.

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