Strike on Kyiv apartment block wounds five

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A shell exploded outside an apartment block in Kyiv, wounding five people, the mayor said Sunday, the latest bombardment as Russian forces try to encircle the Ukrainian capital.

The ten-storey building in northwestern Sviatoshyn district was badly damaged, with all the windows blown out and scorch marks from a fire that broke out, AFP journalists at the scene said.

Firefighters led an elderly woman and a disorientated man with facial injuries to an ambulance. Two burned-out cars lay in the debris-covered courtyard, which also houses a playground.

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Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram that “the enemy's airstrikes” had wounded five people, two of whom were taken to hospital.

“It was lucky” that there were not more casualties, Sviatlana Vodolaga, a spokeswoman for the state emergency service told AFP, adding that six people were rescued from the block.

A kindergarten was also damaged but was empty at the time.

The boom of shelling and rocket fire could be heard in the distance from the scene, which is only a few kilometres from the frontline commuter town of Irpin.

“My sister was on the balcony when it happened, she was nearly killed,” said Anna, 30, a resident of the block who asked to be identified by her first name.

“Please NATO, close the skies. I hate Putin,” she added referring to Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

Kyiv has been hit by a series of isolated strikes on apartment blocks over the past week, killing at least seven people in total and leaving one building in flames.

Russia's advance on Kyiv has largely stalled. Moscow's forces engage in sporadic fighting to the northwest and east but have barely moved for two weeks.

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