Putin’s missile strike on kids: Young children scream in terror during Russian attack on


Panicked school children today screamed in terror as they sprinted for their lives towards the safety of nearby bomb shelters as Vladimir Putin’s missiles rained down on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

The young children jolted in fear and covered their heads when they heard the all too familiar sound of a Russian missile smashing into a nearby street.

The classmates, many of whom were carrying rucksacks that dwarfed their small bodies, began screaming and racing along the street in a bid to reach the safety of a nearby bomb shelter in a scene that lays bare the reality of Vladimir Putin’s war.

One young boy was seen grabbing his friend’s hand as they sprinted along the pavement as Putin’s forces unleashed a barrage of rockets at the capital for the 16th time this month.

The children were closely followed by panicked residents who rushed for cover at the sound of the air sirens and explosions, just hours after a more common nighttime barrage of cruise missiles hit the city.

Panicked school children today screamed in terror as they sprinted for their lives towards the safety of nearby bomb shelters as Vladimir Putin's bombed rained down on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv

Panicked school children today screamed in terror as they sprinted for their lives towards the safety of nearby bomb shelters as Vladimir Putin’s bombed rained down on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv

The classmates, many of whom were carrying rucksacks that dwarfed their small bodies, began screaming and racing along the street in a bid to reach the relative safety of a nearby bomb shelter

The classmates, many of whom were carrying rucksacks that dwarfed their small bodies, began screaming and racing along the street in a bid to reach the relative safety of a nearby bomb shelter

Firefighters work at the site of a residential house that was struck by a Russian missile in the Kyiv region on Monday

Firefighters work at the site of a residential house that was struck by a Russian missile in the Kyiv region on Monday

Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska shared footage of the children running along the streets of Kyiv on Twitter and wrote: ‘Kyiv. Morning after sleepless night under fire. Anxiety once again…

‘Children running and screaming for shelter to the sounds of explosions. But it should not be like this – anywhere. Fear cannot be turned off – but we do not stop, we act. Ukraine continues to fight.’ 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shared his wife’s tweet and added: ‘Glory to all our warriors who defend the Ukrainian sky. Thank you to everyone in the world who helps protect people and children from Russian terror.’

It comes as debris from missiles intercepted by Ukrainian air defenses fell in Kyiv’s central and northern districts during the morning, landing in the middle of traffic on a city road and also starting a fire on a building’s roof, the Kyiv military administration said. At least one civilian was reported hurt.

The blasts unnerved some locals, already under strain after being awakened by the night attack.

‘After what happened last night, I react sharply to every siren now. I was terrified, and I’m still trembling,’ shared Alina Ksenofontova, a 50-year-old woman who took refuge in the Kyiv subway with her dog Bublik.

Ukraine shot down 11 cruise and ballistic missiles fired in the second of Monday’s attacks on Kyiv, said Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Heavy air strikes about six hours earlier had targeted the capital, put five Ukrainian aircraft out of action in the west of the country and caused a fire in the Black Sea port of Odesa.

Russia has increased the frequency of air attacks as Ukraine prepares to launch a counteroffensive. 

Kyiv metro stations, including the central station, Tetatralna, were packed with people taking shelter although many residents ignored the air raid alarm until they heard loud blasts in city centre. 

Artem Zhyla, a 24-year-old who provides legal services abroad, took his laptop with him and kept working underground.

‘I heard two or three explosions, went to the bathroom, and then I heard five or seven more explosions. That’s when I realised something terrible was happening,’ he said.

People take cover at metro station during a Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Monday

People take cover at metro station during a Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Monday

Pictured: Ukrainian Police officers inspecting a fragment of the rocket after a Russian rocket attack in Kyiv on Monday

Pictured: Ukrainian Police officers inspecting a fragment of the rocket after a Russian rocket attack in Kyiv on Monday

Local residents try to put out a fire after Russian missile strikes hit the Kyiv region on Friday

Local residents try to put out a fire after Russian missile strikes hit the Kyiv region on Friday

Like many others in the capital, he feels exhausted and stressed. However, he has no intentions of giving up and plans to attend his yoga class to recharge.

‘This is certainly not enough to break us,’ he said. 

Russia used Iskander short-range missiles in the morning attack, the spokesman for Ukraine’s air force said on local television.

The missiles were fired from north of Kyiv, Yurii Ihnat said without clarifying if he meant Russian territory. Kyiv lies around 380 kilometers (236 miles) from the Russian border.

During the previous night, air defenses brought down more than 40 targets as Russian forces bombarded Kyiv with a combination of drones and cruise missiles in their 15th nighttime attack on the capital so far this month, said Serhii Popko, the head of Kyiv’s military administration.

On Saturday night, Kyiv was subjected to the largest drone attack since the start of Russia’s war. At least one person was killed, local officials said.

Kremlin’s strategy of long-range bombardment has brought many sleepless nights for Ukrainians.

A firefighter puts out a fire following a massive Russian drone attack on May 28

A firefighter puts out a fire following a massive Russian drone attack on May 28 

A cargo trailer burns after having been damaged during a massive Russian air strike in the Kyiv region of Ukraine in the early hours of May 29

A cargo trailer burns after having been damaged during a massive Russian air strike in the Kyiv region of Ukraine in the early hours of May 29 

A police officer inspects damages after a Russian missile strike in the Kyiv region on Monday

A police officer inspects damages after a Russian missile strike in the Kyiv region on Monday

A firefighter works at a site of a private house damaged by remains of a cruise missile in the Kyiv region on Friday

A firefighter works at a site of a private house damaged by remains of a cruise missile in the Kyiv region on Friday 

A Russian drone is shot down by Ukrainian forces in Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 28

A Russian drone is shot down by Ukrainian forces in Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 28

Over the winter, Russian forces aimed their missiles and drones at power plants and other infrastructure. The apparent goal was to weaken Ukraine’s resolve and compel the Ukrainian government to negotiate peace on Moscow’s terms, but Ukrainians swiftly and defiantly repaired the damage.

In recent months, Ukraine has been receiving advanced air defense systems from its Western allies, improving its ability to fend off bombardments by the Kremlin’s forces.

Across the country, the Ukrainian air force said that over Sunday night it shot down 37 out of 40 cruise missiles and 29 out of 35 drones launched by the Kremlin’s forces.

At least three civilians were wounded nationwide in the latest wave of attacks, the Ukrainian presidential office said.

Russian missiles slammed into a military airport In the western Khmelnytskyi region of Ukraine, destroying five aircraft and damaging the runway, local Gov. Serhyi Hamaliy said on television.

The strike sparked fires at nearby warehouses storing fuel and military equipment, he added.

Russian shelling and airstrikes also targeted nine localities in the eastern Donetsk region, including the city of Kramatorsk which houses the local Ukrainian army headquarters, local Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Ukrainian TV.

The attack on Kyiv came on the same day that Ukrainian forces shelled several frontier settlements in the Russian border region of Belgorod just days after anti-Putin rebel groups briefly captured territory there, the local governor said.

Vyacheslav Gladkov said two industrial facilities in the border town of Shebekino had been shelled and four employees had been wounded while several settlements were left without electricity.

The governor ordered some 300 children to be evacuated from Shebekino and the border district of Graivoron and sent to summer camps away from the front lines.

Belgorod, which borders Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, has repeatedly come under attack from Kyiv‘s forces since the beginning Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

Today’s strike is the heaviest shelling on the region since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, local media reported.

Vyacheslav Gladkov said two industrial facilities in the border town of Shebekino (pictured) had been shelled and four employees had been wounded while several settlements were left without electricity

Vyacheslav Gladkov said two industrial facilities in the border town of Shebekino (pictured) had been shelled and four employees had been wounded while several settlements were left without electricity

Ukrainian forces today shelled several frontier settlements  including Shebekino (pictured) in the Russian border region of Belgorod

Ukrainian forces today shelled several frontier settlements  including Shebekino (pictured) in the Russian border region of Belgorod

Black smoke rises up in the air after Ukrainian forces subjected Belgorod region to heaviest shelling yet

Black smoke rises up in the air after Ukrainian forces subjected Belgorod region to heaviest shelling yet

Gladkov admitted today that ‘several settlements of the Belgorod region are under fire from the armed forces of Ukraine’, adding that two industrial enterprises had been targeted. 

He continued: ‘Shells hit one enterprise, and a production building with paint and varnish liquids caught fire.

‘There are four victims – men, employees of the enterprise, who were delivered to the Central District Hospital with burns of the respiratory tract and carbon monoxide poisoning.

‘One is in intensive care in a serious condition, three are in a state of moderate severity. All necessary medical assistance is provided.’

Other villages including Novaya Tavolzhanka were also hit, Gladkov said.

The Kremlin was left furious last week after native Russian anti-Kremlin fighters carried out a major cross-border raid on a series of border villages in Belgorod, briefly seizing several settlements before withdrawing over the frontier.

Kyiv almost never publicly claims responsibility for attacks inside Russia and on Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine, but has said that destroying infrastructure is preparation for a planned ground assault.

Putin on Sunday ordered stronger border security to ensure ‘fast’ Russian military and civilian movement into the Ukrainian regions now under Moscow’s control.

But Gladkov today demanded that the Kremlin take more action to defend his region amid the Ukrainian strikes. 

He called on Russian forces to take the extreme measure of annexing neighbouring Kharkiv in Ukraine to save his region.

He said: ‘What can be done to secure our territory, especially the border areas?

‘Kharkiv [in Ukraine] has to be annexed to Belgorod region. 

‘Do you believe in this possibility? This is the best way to solve the problem of shelling in Belgorod region.’

‘We are living in the conditions of what essentially is war,’ Gladkov warned Moscow. 

‘Whether people like it or not, this is happening. The enemy comes in. Before the latest events in Graivoron, five sabotage groups had entered.’

Last week, the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) and Freedom of Russia Legion, armed with armoured vehicles, small arms and a pair of tanks, surged over the border from Ukraine’s Kharkiv region and took a string of urban settlements to occupy roughly 3-5 miles of Russian soil.

Last week, native Russian anti-Kremlin fighters (pictured) carried out a major cross-border raid on a series of border villages in Belgorod, briefly seizing several settlements before withdrawing over the frontier

Last week, native Russian anti-Kremlin fighters (pictured) carried out a major cross-border raid on a series of border villages in Belgorod, briefly seizing several settlements before withdrawing over the frontier 

An anti-Kremlin volunteer fighter is pictured alongside a captured Russian armoured personnel carrier last week

An anti-Kremlin volunteer fighter is pictured alongside a captured Russian armoured personnel carrier last week 

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Members of the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) are seen riding on armoured personnel carriers in Russia’s Belgorod region last week

They later launched a pair of drone attacks on FSB and Interior Ministry buildings in Belgorod city on Tuesday, prompting Gladkov to order the evacuation of nine Russian towns and the Kremlin to admit ‘serious cause for concern’. 

By Tuesday afternoon, Russia’s defence ministry claimed it had ‘wiped out’ the rebels, whom they refused to acknowledge as Russian and instead described them as Ukrainian nationalists. 

Ukrainian officials meanwhile retorted they were not involved in the orchestration of the incursion, claiming the attack was carried out by Russian citizens and casting it as homegrown, internal Russian strife. 

Kyiv has been preparing to launch an offensive although its timing and focus have been the subject of months of speculation. 

Ukrainian authorities have said almost nothing except that they need more weapons from Kyiv’s backers.

Deputy Defence Minister Ganna Malyar said Monday that in the frontline hotspot of Bakhmut ‘the intensity of the enemy’s offensive has significantly decreased’ as Russian mercenary group Wagner was handing over its positions to Moscow’s regular troops.

‘Our troops are making this process much more difficult for the enemy,’ she said.

‘At the same time, the intensity of enemy artillery shelling has not decreased.’

Who are the anti-Kremlin rebel groups responsible for attacks in Belgorod? 

RUSSIAN VOLUNTEER CORPS

The Russian Volunteer Corps was founded by a far-right Russian national last August and comprises Russians who have been fighting in and for Ukraine against their own country.

The group has also been active over the border in Russian territory, and claimed responsibility for a raid there in March as well as the incursion into Belgorod.

The Ukrainian military intelligence agency says the RVC is an independent underground group inside Russia that also has a unit in the Ukrainian Foreign Legion. The Foreign Legion says it has nothing to do with the RVC.

A video posted by the RVC on Monday showed two men claiming to have captured a Russian armoured personnel carrier. 

One of the men was identified as Ilya Bogdanov, a Russian national who received Ukrainian citizenship in 2015 after fighting for Kyiv against Russian-backed forces in Ukraine’s east.

FREEDOM OF RUSSIA LEGION

The Freedom of Russia Legion says it was formed in spring 2022 ‘out of the wish of Russians to fight in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine against Putin’s armed gang’.

It says it cooperates with the Ukrainian armed forces and operates under Ukrainian command. It has claimed responsibility for the attack in Belgorod and says it has been fighting in eastern Ukraine.

The Ukrainian military intelligence agency’s spokesperson said on Monday that the attacks in Belgorod only involved Russian citizens and that they were creating a ‘security zone’ to protect Ukrainian civilians. 

He did not confirm or deny that the forces operating there are a Ukrainian unit. 

Mark Galeotti, author of several books on the Russian military, said the two groups comprised anti-Kremlin Russians ranging from liberals and anarchists to neo-Nazis.

Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak repeated Kyiv’s position that it had nothing to do with the operation.



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