dpatopbilder - 18.06.2022, Ukraine, Kiew: Eine ukrainische Flagge weht vor Gebäuden in Kiew. Foto: Natacha Pisarenko/AP/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The Ukrainian capital Kyiv was rocked by several explosions on Sunday morning. AFP journalists heard four detonations near the city center. Accordingly, a residential complex was hit and fire broke out. Half an hour earlier, the city’s air raid sirens had sounded the alarm. Information on possible victims was initially not available.

“Several explosions in Shevchenkivskyi district,” Mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote on Telegram. “Ambulances and paramedics are on site. Rescue and evacuation of residents is underway in two buildings.”

The Ukrainian capital has rarely been the target of Russian attacks in recent weeks, and the Russian military is currently concentrating primarily on the east of the country. Kyiv was last shelled in early June. While the Ukrainian side spoke of damaged railway infrastructure at the time, Moscow reported the targeted destruction of tanks freshly delivered from abroad.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised his compatriots in a video speech on Sunday night that Ukraine wanted to recapture all the cities occupied by Russia. More than four months after the start of the war, his country is in an emotionally difficult phase. Previously, Moscow had reported the capture of the strategically important city of Sievjerodonetsk.

At the same time, Russia announced the delivery of missile systems to neighboring Belarus. These can also be equipped with nuclear warheads. Ukraine is still able to defend itself against Russia, Zelenskyy said. However, he does not know how great the losses and efforts will be until victory appears on the horizon.

Selenskyj expressly mentioned the city of Sievjerodonetsk in the east of the country, which should again be under Ukrainian control in the future. Both Moscow and Kyiv confirmed the capture by Russian troops. An adviser to the President of Ukraine, Oleksiy Arestovych, said according to the Unian agency that fighting continued in the region. The city’s mayor, Oleksandr Strjuk, said the pro-government troops had moved into different positions. The information could not be independently verified.

According to information from Moscow, the chemical plant Azot in Sievjerodonetsk, which was recently converted into an air raid shelter, is now controlled by pro-Russian units of the Luhansk separatists. It was initially unclear how many people sought shelter there. The separatists claimed to have “evacuated” 800 civilians. Where they were taken remained unclear.

According to Zelenskyy, Russia fired 45 rockets at the neighboring country within half a day on Saturday alone. There should also have been victims. According to the authorities, at least three people were killed and four others injured in an attack on the western Ukrainian city of Sarny. A car wash and a workshop were hit, the head of the military administration said, according to the Unian news agency. He blamed Russia for it.

The Neutron Source nuclear research facility in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv has again come under fire. Buildings and infrastructure such as ventilation ducts were damaged, the nuclear regulatory authority said. The part of the facility where the nuclear fuel is stored was not mentioned in the damage listing. No increased radiation was found. Ukraine blamed Russia for the attack.

Russia plans to deploy Iskander-type missile systems to neighboring Belarus in the coming months. President Vladimir Putin promised the Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko – his close ally. The Iskander-M could “carry both ballistic missiles and cruise missiles – both conventional and nuclear,” Putin said. According to the media, they have a range of up to 500 kilometers.

Ahead of the start of the G7 summit in Bavaria, the US government has lauded Germany’s role in supporting Ukraine following Russia’s attack. The fact that Germany is also supplying “lethal weapon systems” to Ukraine is very important, said the Communications Director of the National Security Council in the White House, John Kirby. He alluded to the delivery of heavy weapons, against which the federal government had initially blocked. Germany, on the other hand, had made other weapons available.