Russian missiles strike Kyiv in rare daytime attack


Ukrainian air defences are engaged in repelling a rare daytime Russian missile attack on the capital Kyiv and other cities across the country, local authorities say.

Ukraine’s air force said Russian forces had launched multiple ballistic and cruise missiles against Ukrainian targets.

The daylight attack included Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, one of the most advanced Russian weapons, the air force said. The Kinzhal flies at 10 times the speed of sound, making it hard to intercept.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported explosions in the city and urged residents to stay in shelters.

He said on the Telegram messaging app ambulances are heading to one of the districts in central Kyiv, but gave no immediate details on the damage or casualties.

Unverified social media videos showed rising clouds of smoke across the city.

Local media also reported explosions in Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih and Kropyvnytskyi in central Ukraine.

“Attack on Ukraine at a time when there are the most people on the streets. Crazy Russian terrorists,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Viktor Orban and Xi Jinping
Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban (left) made a surprise visit to Beijing where he met Xi Jinping. (AP PHOTO)

The attack comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping called on world powers to help Russia and Ukraine resume direct dialogue and negotiations during a meeting with Hungary’s leader, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban made a surprise visit to China after similar trips last week to Russia and Ukraine to discuss prospects for a peaceful settlement in Ukraine.

Orban praised China’s “constructive and important initiatives” for achieving peace and described Beijing as a stabilising force amid global turbulence, according to CCTV.

Besides Russia and Ukraine, the end of the war “depends on the decision of three world powers, the US, the EU and China”, Orban wrote in a Facebook post showing him shaking hands with Xi.

“Peace mission 3.0” is how Orban captioned a picture posted on the X social media platform, formerly Twitter, depicting him after having stepped off his plane in Beijing. 

His unannounced visit comes on the heels of similar trips last week to Moscow and Kyiv, where he proposed that Ukraine consider agreeing to an immediate ceasefire with Russia.

His visit to Moscow drew condemnation from Kyiv and European leaders.

The Hungarian prime minister, widely seen as having the warmest relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin among EU leaders, has routinely blocked, delayed or watered down EU efforts to assist Kyiv and impose sanctions on Moscow for its actions in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said it blocked an attempt by Ukraine to organise the hijacking of a Russian strategic bomber and fly it to Ukraine.

“Ukrainian intelligence intended to recruit a Russian military pilot for a monetary reward and the provision of Italian citizenship, to persuade him to fly and land a missile carrier in Ukraine,” the FSB, the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, said on its website on Monday.

Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

During the operation, Russia received information that helped its forces to strike the Ozerne airfield in northwestern Ukraine, the FSB added in its statement.

With AP