26.06.2022, Ukraine, Kiew: Soldaten sichern Beweise vor einem Wohnhaus nach einer Explosion. In den frühen Morgenstunden des Sonntags erschütterten mehrere Explosionen den Westen der ukrainischen Hauptstadt, wobei nach Angaben des Kiewer Bürgermeisters Klitschko mindestens zwei Wohngebäude in Mitleidenschaft gezogen wurden. Foto: Nariman El-Mofty/AP/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Kyiv was fairly quiet for a few weeks after Russian attackers were repelled outside the Ukrainian capital. Many refugees have returned. Despite the war in the East, the city is trying to regain its normal rhythm of life. There are air raid alarms almost every day, but the people of Kiev hardly pay any attention to the signals. They no longer flee to the air-raid shelters.

But on Sunday, war is coming back to Kyiv for the first time in three weeks. Ludmila Maksimenko watches four Russian missiles from her kitchen. She lives a kilometer from the house that is hit. She quickly hid in the bathroom and sat there for five minutes, she says.

When she comes out again, the next rocket flies by. She walked back and forth four times. When the frightened woman went to work an hour later, the smell of burning was in the air. Ludmila works in an orthodox church less than 200 meters from the site. The woman is very worried, but only the chandelier was damaged by the blast wave.

The target of the Russian attack was apparently an aircraft factory across the street. The Russian army leadership repeatedly claims they are using precision weapons, but the current rocket attack paints a different picture. It is the third attack in this neighborhood since the beginning of the war.

Russia sent the first rockets on March 15, the plant’s administrative building was partially destroyed, but the company was able to continue working. The second and third attacks hit the nearby residential area.

On April 28, the Kiev journalist Vera Girych was killed in her apartment a few hundred meters from the plant. It’s the same house that came under fire again on Sunday, and this time one person died. Rescue services are on duty and two buildings are being evacuated, Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote in the Telegram online service after the attacks.

So far, two injured people have been taken to the hospital, he says later during a visit to the site. There were still “people under the rubble”. Andrei Antonov, an employee of a utility company, admits that he is afraid. “We cannot rule out that more missiles will be used.”

One of the rockets lands on the kindergarten’s playground in the apartment complex. Luckily there are no children there on Sundays. The area is home to the Lukyanovsky Market, one of the largest in central Kyiv. The vendors were on their way there when the explosions are heard. They open their stands on this day despite the impending danger.

Lots of people from Kiev come, it’s high season for strawberries and sweet cherries. The seller Irina Sokolova comes here from the suburb of Butcha. “We fled the shelling in early March. A month ago we returned to Butcha because we thought the situation in and around Kyiv was more or less calm. It turned out to be an illusion,” says a tearful woman.

Around noon there are more explosions in Kyiv, now in other districts. As the authorities later informed, the air defense system had been successfully activated. According to Russian information, a total of 14 rockets were fired that day.

Vitali Klitschko accuses Russia’s President Vladimir Putin of targeting civilian targets in the “Bild” newspaper. “It looks as if Russia deliberately wanted to use the launch of the G7 in a perfidious way to launch a rocket attack.” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba quickly called for additional weapons in view of the new attacks on Kyiv.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his daily address that the relentless missile strikes confirmed sanctions against Russia were not enough to help Ukraine. “The anti-aircraft systems – the modern systems that our partners have – should not be on training grounds or in camps, but in Ukraine, where they are needed now, more than anywhere else in the world,” Zelenskyi Valeriia Semeniuk said