Shelling has hit a Kyiv shopping centre, killing at least eight people, wrecking nearby buildings and leaving smoking piles of rubble and the twisted wreckage of burned-out cars spread over several hundred metres.
As day broke on Monday (European time), firefighters were putting out small blazes around the smouldering carcass of a building in the shopping centre car park in the Podil district of the city and looking for possible survivors.
The force of the explosion obliterated one structure in the shopping centre car park and gutted an adjacent 10-storey building, shattering windows in the surrounding residential tower blocks.
Six bodies were lain out on the pavement as emergency services combed through the wreckage to the sound of distant artillery fire. Ukraine’s Prosecutor General said at least eight people had been killed.
Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said areas near the shopping centre were used to store rocket munitions and for reloading multiple rocket launchers. Ukraine says there were no strategic military objects in the area.
Reuters was not immediately able to verify either side’s claims.
Russian forces have pounded some suburbs of the Ukrainian capital, but defenders have so far managed to prevent Kyiv from coming under the kind of full-scale assault that has devastated eastern cities such as Mariupol and Kharkiv.
However, dozens of civilians have been killed in Kyiv since Russia launched its invasion on February 24 – many in residential buildings hit by missile strikes.