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At first, she couldn’t understand what she was seeing – but then realisation struck that the charred bodies in front of her were that of her daughter and granddaughter.
Her agonised screams and wails tore through the deathly silence in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv as she clutched onto the horrified medics holding her up.
The heart-broken grandmother edged closer to the bodies of her daughter and her 11-year-old granddaughter, her quivering body soon collapsing with the weight of her grief.
This is the reality of Vladimir Putin‘s war.
Medics, holding the woman’s hands, slowly led her away from the horrific scene – her face etched with utter grief and shock that her loved ones were now lying dead on the ground.
The barrage of cruise and ballistic missiles struck at 3am and tore through homes, a children’s medical centre and cars in the Ukrainian capital, leaving a scene of utter devastation.
The mother and her 11-year-old daughter were among at least three people killed in the air strikes, which have been relentlessly hitting the capital for weeks. At least 12 others were injured, including one child.
At first, she couldn’t understand what she was seeing – but then realisation struck that the charred bodies in front of her were that of her daughter and granddaughter
Medics, holding the woman’s hands, slowly led her away from the horrific scene – her face etched with utter grief and shock that her loved ones were now lying dead on the ground
Rescuers and medics work in a local clinic, where fragments of shot down missile fell in Kyiv
Ukraine’s General Staff said that the Air Forces managed to intercept 10 missiles, which it identified as short-range ballistic Iskander missiles.
Russia has repeatedly targeted Kyiv with waves of drone and missile attacks since the start of the invasion, but attacks against the capital have significantly intensified over the past month as Ukraine prepares for a counteroffensive.
While most incoming weapons are shot down, many Kyiv residents are anxious and tired after weeks of sleepless nights listening to the sound of explosions.
The scale of the suffering and the indiscriminate targeting of men, women and children in Ukraine has seen at least 8,300 civilians killed since the war began.
Ukraine’s air defense has become increasingly effective at intercepting Russian drones and missiles, but the resulting debris can cause fires and injure people below.
In Desnianskyi district, debris fell on a children’s hospital and a nearby multistory building. Two schools and a police department were damaged.
In another district, Dniprovskyi, a residential building was damaged by burning debris and heavy smoke arose, the blast wave blew out the windows, parked cars caught fire, and debris fell onto the roadway and courtyards.
An elderly woman reacts in front of the body of her daughter who died as a result of a downed missile explosion outside a polyclinic in Kyiv on Thursday
A view of a residential building damaged in a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, on Thursday
A police expert examines the body of a woman who died as a result of a downed missile explosion in Kyiv on Thursday
Horrified local residents look at the body of a woman who died as a result of a downed missile explosion in Kyiv on Thursday
Men clean debris next to a damaged residential building that was damaged during a Russian missile attack, on Thursday in Kyiv
Police officers inspect the site of a Russian strike in Kyiv on Thursday
In Darnytskyi neighborhood, a water pipeline and a residential building were affected, and the explosive wave broke windows.
After a woman was killed watching an aerial attack from her balcony earlier this week, Kyiv authorities urged residents to heed warning sirens and stay in shelters or other safe locations.
‘You’ve got to be vigilant, as ballistic missiles fly at incredible speeds. From the moment the alarm is announced to the rocket’s arrival, you have only a few seconds!’ they warned in a message to residents.
Ukraine also claimed last month to have downed some of Russia’s hypersonic Kinzhal missiles, which Russian President Vladimir Putin has touted as providing a key competitive advantage.
In Russia’s western Belgorod region, at least two people were wounded this morning in an attack on the town of Shebekino blamed on Ukrainian troops, governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Telegram.
‘This night is tense for Shebekino again. Ukrainian troops were shelling the city for an hour,’ he said.
The attacks have come as Kyiv says it is preparing for a major offensive against Moscow’s forces.
More than a year since its Ukraine invasion, Russia has suffered stepped-up attacks on its soil, including a drone attack on Moscow on Tuesday.
Russia said Wednesday it was evacuating hundreds of children from villages due to the intensifying attacks.
The first 300 evacuated children would be taken to Voronezh, a city about 155 miles further into Russia, Governor Gladkov said. Over 1,000 more children would be moved to other provinces in the coming days, he added.
On Tuesday, elite districts in and close to Moscow were targeted in drone strikes in what one Russian politician called the most dangerous attack on the capital since World War Two.
Several buildings in the wealthy suburbs of Moscow were damaged by suspected Ukrainian kamikaze drones on Tuesday, just hours after Putin unleashed another volley of strikes on Kyiv.
The heart-broken grandmother edged closer to the bodies of her daughter and her 11-year-old granddaughter, her quivering body soon collapsing with the weight of her grief
Paramedics support a woman, who recognised the bodies of her daughter and granddaughter killed during a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, on Thursday
Local residents stand near an apartment building damaged in a Russian missile strike in Kyiv on Thursday
The Russian defence ministry said eight drones sent to Moscow by Ukraine were shot down or diverted with electronic jammers, though Baza, a Telegram channel with links to the security services, said there were more than 25.
Ukraine, which has seen almost nightly attacks on its capital, denied any ‘direct involvement’.
But Putin and his cronies accused Ukraine of trying to ‘frighten’ Russians with their ‘increasingly reckless behaviour’ after the drone attack.
Apparently forgetting that Russia has unleashed a series of deadly airstrikes on Ukrainian cities that have killed thousands since the start of the war 15 months ago, Putin claimed Kyiv had chosen the ‘path of trying to frighten the citizens of Russia’.
Putin said the drone attack was in revenge for earlier Russian strikes on ‘command centres’. In reality the Kremlin has targeted residential buildings in Kyiv with its airstrikes.