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Nine people injured after Russian missile attack on Kyiv

Debris from a Russian missile attack wrecked part of a three-storey building in central Kyiv this morning and left at least nine people injured across the city, officials said.

School children had to run for cover during the assault, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.

The side of the building, which held an art academy’s gym and exhibition hall, was reduced to rubble in an area packed with high-rise apartment blocks.

Ukraine’s air force said it shot down two ballistic missiles fired from the occupied Crimean Peninsula, more than 500km away.

A Ukrainian woman picking up debris as rescue teams work following a Russian missile attack

Missile debris came down in the capital’s Solomyanskyi, Holosiyivskyi and Darnytskyi districts, according to the Kyiv city administration. The street outside the building was littered with bricks and cars coated in a thick layer of dust.

Kyiv’s air alert system, which usually gives ample advance warning of danger, only sounded about a minute before the first of several explosions were heard by Reuters reporters.

A woman working in the building was injured, acting culture minister Rostyslav Karandieiev said.

“Nobody died according to preliminary information,” he added. At least nine others were injured in the district, Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on the country’s allies to supply more air defences.

Russia, which has stepped up its missile and drone strikes over the past week, staged its biggest attack on Ukraine’s energy system in more than two years of war on Friday, according to Ukraine.

Rescuers conduct a search and rescue operation after a Russian missile attack

Russia made no immediate comment on today’s attack but has said it does not target civilians or civilian facilities.

Andriy Yermak, the president’s chief of staff, described Russia and its president as “terrorists”, comparing them in a statement to Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for a deadly shooting in Moscow on Friday.

US ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink said Russia had used hypersonic missiles to attack the Ukrainian capital.

“Over the last five days, Russia has launched hundreds of missiles and drones against a sovereign country,” Ms Brink said.

Restoring Ukraine energy facilities will cost ‘billions’ – minister

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s energy minister has said the damage from a major Russian attack on the country’s energy facilities is likely to run into the “billions”.

Last week, Russia mounted what Ukraine says was its largest ever overnight aerial bombardment – firing around 90 missiles and 60 drones at energy facilities across the country and killing at least five people.

“We need more time (to assess the damage) because there are large amounts of debris,” Ukrainian Energy Minster German Galushchenko told journalists today.

Wrecked cars covered in dust in the aftermath of a Russian missile strike on Kyiv

In terms of the cost of repairs, “the real figures will be after assessment of the damage, but I think it is in the region of billions, for sure,” he said.

Mr Galushchenko did not specify what currency he was referring to.

The World Bank has estimated the total cost of reconstruction facing Ukraine more than two years since the start of the war is at least $486 billion (€449bn).

Mr Galushchenko called the strikes the “biggest attack since the beginning of the full-scale invasion” in February 2022.

Among facilities hit were power stations that had been recently renovated, he said.

“They continue these attacks every day,” he said today, referencing an overnight Russian attack on the southern city of Odesa.

Power was cut off to part of the Black Sea port city when debris from a shot-down drone hit an energy plant.

Ukraine’s second largest city of Kharkiv is currently experiencing “the most difficult situation”, he said.

A missile attack completely cut off power to the eastern city last Thursday, also knocking out water and heating supplies to hundreds of thousands of homes.

‘Weaponising the energy sector’

Critical infrastructure was being provided with power now, though some supplies to households were still restricted, he said.

Mr Galushchenko today met Sweden’s minister for energy, business and industry, Ebba Busch, who was making her first official visit to Ukraine.

Ms Busch condemned the latest attacks and said Russia was “weaponising the energy sector”.

The ministers held a press conference in the cellar of a government building in central Kyiv after Russia fired ballistic missiles at the capital.

Sweden’s energy minister Ebba Busch meeting with Ukrainian counterpart German Galushchenko

Loud explosions were heard and air raid sirens rang out this morning.

Mr Galushchenko said the only way to protect the country’s electricity network fully was through better air defences.

“The efficiency of air defences – that is the answer,” he said.

“(A) modern system like Patriot could easily shoot down the ballistic missile – so it means that we need more.”

Ukraine is now importing electricity from other countries to keep the lights on.

Mr Galushchenko said the country needs to be able to import more electricity from the European Union than its current capacity of 1.7 gigawatts.

“We need more. Today, unfortunately, this is a question of survival,” he said.

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