Kyiv: Zelenskiy demands change as missile strike kills three
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has expressed frustration at the miscue that left three people dead including a nine-year-old Ukrainian girl, in a Russian missile strike on Kyiv on Thursday after the air raid shelter they rushed to failed to open.
Zelenskiy, in his nightly video message, said if local officials were unable to provide protection, they could be prosecuted.
“Shelters must be kept accessible. Never again should we see a repeat of the situation that occurred last night in Kyiv…”
“This was very clearly the duty of local authorities and if this duty is not fulfilled at the local level, it is the direct duty of law enforcement bodies to prosecute”. Zelenskiy said.
His comments appeared aimed at Kyiv city authorities and Mayor Vitali Klitschko, with whom he has periodically clashed during the war.
“Three people, one of them a child, died near the clinic last night,” Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.
“A rocket fragment fell near the entrance to the clinic four minutes after the air alert was announced. And people headed for the shelter.”
Police opened a criminal investigation into the three deaths near a medical clinic in the Desnyanskyi district of Kyiv after the 18th attack on the capital since the start of May.
Residents said people were unable to enter the shelter because it was closed. It was not clear why.
The case prompted calls for residents to check shelters and report safety violations. Local media said prosecutors searched city administration offices as part of the investigation.
Also Read: Overnight Missile Attack On Kyiv Kill Three
In earlier comments to reporters in Moldova, Zelenskiy said that as well as facing the Russian enemy, “we also have internal ones”. He said the response could be a “knockout” blow, a veiled dig at Klitschko, a former heavyweight boxing champion.
Condemning the Kyiv deaths, the U.N. rights monitoring mission in Ukraine said six children were killed and 34 wounded in May alone, with 525 dying since Russia’s invasion.
Russia has denied targeting civilians or committing war crimes though its air strikes have caused devastation in cities across Ukraine since the full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022.
Ukraine reported no major damage from Thursday’s attack, saying it had shot down all 10 missiles.