Russian aircraft strikes Kyiv with long-distance missiles, causing substantial damage

Russian Tu-95 (illustrative image)
Russian Tu-95 (illustrative image)

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According to Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yuriy Ignat, speaking during a briefing following the attack, multiple X101 missiles (NATO: AS-23 Kodiak) were launched by Russian Tu-95 and Tu-160 bombardiers.

Some of these missiles were intercepted by Kyiv’s air defense system, but not all.

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These missiles are able to travel as far as 5,500 kilometers, and are less visible to air defense radars than many other missile types. Each is driven by an engine and has a digital component able to correct targeting and adjust trajectory in-flight. The Russian military has previously used X101 missiles in Syria.

Tu-95 and Tu-160 are both Soviet-era bombardiers, created during the Cold War to counter possible Western threats. Both are copies of bombardier models used by the U.S. Army post-World War II - the Boeing B-29 Superfortress and the Rockwell B-1 Lancer, respectively.

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Ignat went into some details of this operation during the briefing: most likely, the Russian bombers launched the rockets from the Caspian Sea region, where the Russian military has an aircraft facility in the city of Astrakhan.

Details of the attack

At around 6:20 am, Kyiv residents heard several explosions throughout the city. One missile struck the roof of a 9-story residential building near the Lukianivska metro station, located in a district in the central part of the city. The upper floors of the building were severely damaged.

So far, the death of one person has been confirmed, while another four individuals were wounded.

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Emergency service began search and rescue operations at around 6:30 am. Their first success was digging a 7-year-old girl out of the rubble. She had sustained injuries in the attack. Later, her mom, who is a Russian citizen, was also rescued.

For the past several days, the Russian military has increased its usage of cruise missiles to target those Ukrainian regions that are considered to be relatively safe – like Kyiv, Cherkasy, or Rivne Oblasts.

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On the evening of June 26, residents of downtown Kyiv were warned by presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych, in a video address,that ignoring air sirens could be dangerous.

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