Large explosions rock Kyiv after UN chief meets with Ukraine’s Zelenskyy – National | Globalnews.ca

Two powerful explosions rocked central Kyiv on Thursday evening, shortly after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The explosions, which Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said took place in the Shevchenkivskyi district near the city centre at about 8 p.m. local time, sent large plumes of black smoke into the air.

The explosions could be heard across most of the city, but a wary Ukrainian population largely resisted calls to move to bomb shelters, continuing to sit at restaurants and go about their night as usual.

Roughly two hours after the initial strikes, at least two more explosions were heard in the capital.

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The attack came shortly after Zelenskyy and Guterres held a press conference in which Guterres condemned the atrocities committed by Russian soldiers in towns such as Bucha, where he toured during the day.

Guterres also visited the devastated towns of Borodianka and Irpin, near Kyiv, and urged Russia “to accept to cooperate” with ongoing investigations into war crimes by the International Criminal Court (IRCC).

Guterres called the war “an absurdity” and posted a photo on Twitter of himself outside a destroyed residential building in an undisclosed location, with the caption: “War is evil.”

Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov was also in Kyiv for a meeting with Zelenskyy on Thursday. During Petkov’s visit, he discussed energy and logistics support with Zelenskyy and, according to a tweet, talked about exploring sending wheat through the Bulgarian port of Varina.

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Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba tweeted that Russia had struck Kyiv with cruise missiles while the two dignitaries were in town.

“By this heinous act of barbarism Russia demonstrates once again its attitude towards Ukraine, Europe and the world.”

Kyiv has largely escaped the shelling that has been inflicted on the rest of Ukraine.

Russian troops retreated from the area surrounding Kyiv on March 31, after largely being stalled in the surrounding districts such as Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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