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Russian strike hits missile unit outside Kyiv

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A Ukrainian military factory outside Kyiv that produced missiles allegedly used to hit Russia’s Moskva warship was partly destroyed by overnight Russian strikes, an AFP journalist at the scene saw Friday.

A workshop and an administrative building at the Vizar plant, which lies near Kyiv’s international Zhuliany airport, were seriously damaged.

Russia had earlier announced it had hit the factory using Kalibr sea-based long-range missiles.

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The strike came a day after Ukraine claimed it had destroyed Russia’s Moskva warship, which Moscow later said had sunk.

According to a statement on Ukraine’s state weapons manufacturer Ukroboronprom website, the Vizar factory produced Neptune missiles.

Andrei Sizov, a 47-year-old owner of a nearby wood workshop, said the strikes came at night.

“Around 1:30 am, my security guard called me because there was an airstrike,” he told AFP.

“There were five hits. My employee was in the office and got thrown off his feet by the blast.”

He said he believes Russia was taking revenge for the Moskva warship.

The governor of Ukraine’s southern Odessa region, Maxim Marchenko, said Thursday that the Ukrainian army had used Neptune missiles to strike the Moskva.

Moscow did not confirm this explanation for the sinking of its massive vessel, saying only that a fire broke out on board the 186-metre-long ship.

It said the cruiser sank during an attempt to tow it to the nearest port.

While two workers at the site of the Vizar factory told AFP the strike had not caused any casualties, Ukrainian authorities did not immediately confirm this information.

At midday on Friday, cleaners were working to clear the rubble in the partly damaged administrative wing of the building.

Russian strikes in the Kyiv region have abated since the end of March, when Moscow withdrew its troops, saying it wanted to concentrate on Ukraine’s south and east.

But Russia warned Friday that it would intensify attacks on the capital after accusing Ukraine of targeting Russian border towns.

Kyiv denied this, instead alleging Russia had staged the incidents to stir up “anti-Ukrainian hysteria” in the country.

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