Journalist at US-funded Radio Free Europe killed in Russian missile barrage on Ukrainian capital during the UN Chief was visiting Kyiv; Zelensky accuses Moscow of trying to humiliate UN, urges ‘powerful reaction.
Ukraine’s leader accused Russia of trying to humiliate the United Nations by raining missiles on Kyiv during a visit by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, an attack that shattered the capital’s tentative return to normality as the focus of the war moved east.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine’s forces were holding off Russia’s attempted advance in the south and east, as efforts continued to secure safe passage for residents trapped in Mariupol, which has been largely reduced to rubble in a 2-month-long siege. An official in the president’s office did not rule out an evacuation as soon as Friday.
Russia pounded targets all over Ukraine on Thursday, including the attack on Kyiv that struck a residential high-rise and another building. US-funded broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty said its journalist Vera Girich, who lived in one of the buildings hit, died. Her body was found in the rubble on Friday.
Ten people were wounded in the attack, including at least one who lost a leg, according to Ukraine’s emergency services. In an apparent reference to the same strike, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Friday that it had destroyed “production buildings” at the Artem defense factory in Kyiv.
The attack on Kyiv came barely an hour after Zelensky held a news conference with Guterres, who toured some of the destruction in and around Kyiv and condemned attacks on civilians during his visit.
“This says a lot about Russia’s true attitude towards global institutions, about attempts of Russian authorities to humiliate the UN and everything that the organization represents,” Zelensky said in an overnight video address to the nation. “Therefore, it requires corresponding powerful reaction.”