Missile strikes over Kiev as African leaders visit

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Ukraine said Friday it withstood a wave of Russian missiles including hypersonic Kinzhals, which were downed over the Kiev region where African leaders were due to hold talks as part of a peace mission.

“Russian missiles are a message to Africa: Russia wants more war, not peace,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.

The Ukrainian Air Force said it destroyed six Kinzhals, six Kalibr cruise missiles and two reconnaissance drones.

All were intercepted over the Kiev region, the chief of the Kiev military administration Sergiy Popko said.

The capital’s mayor Vitali Klitschko said there was no damage in Kiev and reported an explosion from air defence in the central Podil district.

Russian President Vladimir “Putin ‘builds confidence’ by launching the largest missile attack on Kiev in weeks, exactly amid the visit of African leaders to our capital,” Kuleba said.

The South African presidency said “the mission is proceeding well and as planned. We await the commencement of talks with (Ukrainian) President Zelensky.”

The presidents of South Africa, Senegal, Zambia and the Comoros; and representatives from Uganda, Egypt and Congo-Brazzaville were due to hold talks in Kiev.

A part of the delegation visited Bucha, the site of an alleged massacre by Russian troops, on Friday morning.

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