tag reuters.com2023 newsml LYNXMPEJ4L0N8 12023 05 22T173056Z 1 LYNXMPEJ4L0N8 RTROPTP 3 SAFRICA POLITICS SINGAPORE

African Leaders To Visit Kyiv Amidst Missile Strikes

Ukraine declared that it successfully repelled a barrage of Russian missiles, including the advanced hypersonic Kinzhals, which were brought down over the Kyiv region today.

The incident occurred just as African leaders were scheduled to hold discussions in the region as part of a peace mission.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba conveyed that the Russian missiles served as a clear message to Africa: Russia’s intentions lean towards further conflict rather than promoting peace.

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According to the Ukrainian Air Force, they managed to neutralize six Kinzhals, six Kalibr cruise missiles, and two reconnaissance drones. Sergiy Popko, the chief of the Kyiv military administration, confirmed that all of these threats were intercepted over the Kyiv region.

Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of the capital, stated that Kyiv did not suffer any damages from the missile attack. He did report an explosion resulting from the air defense system in the central Podil district.

Kuleba pointed out that Russian President Vladimir Putin had chosen to launch the largest missile attack on Kyiv in weeks precisely during the visit of African leaders to the Ukrainian capital. This move was seen as an attempt by Putin to “build confidence” through displays of military force.

The South African presidency expressed satisfaction with the progress of their mission and stated that it was proceeding according to plan. They eagerly anticipated the start of talks with Ukrainian President Zelensky.

The visiting delegation included the presidents of South Africa, Senegal, Zambia, and Comoros, as well as representatives from Uganda, Egypt, and Congo-Brazzaville, who were scheduled to engage in discussions in Kyiv.

As part of their visit, a portion of the delegation went to Bucha, where an alleged massacre by Russian troops had taken place. This visit took place on Friday morning.