A huge explosion has rocked a shopping centre in Kyiv as rescuers pulled bloodied victims from the rubble as police said at least eight people had been killed amid fears dozens of others were missing.
The blast smashed the sprawling ‘Retroville’ mall and was so powerful it pulverised vehicles in its car park – leaving a massive crater – as well as bodies scattered in the carnage.Mayor Vitali Klitschko this morning said it was one of several bombs to be dropped on the city overnight, with others flattening homes. Offices and a gym were also hit.
Rescuers were continuing to trawl through the chaos this morning as they desperately searched for any more survivors of the latest horror attack to rock Ukraine.Shortly after the strike, mayor Vitali Klitschko declared the start of another 35-hour curfew – going from 8pm this evening until 7am on Wednesday.
Russian forces have increasingly resorted to long-range rocket strikes as their army has stalled.Heavy fighting continues to the north of Kyiv, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said Monday, but advances from the north-east have been halted. Attackers in the north-west have been ‘repulsed by fierce Ukrainian resistance’, the ministry added.
Western intelligence now estimates that Russia is losing up to 1,000 troops per day, which would be its fastest rate of casualties since the Second World War.Desite the punishing losses, British intelligence believes that capturing Kyiv remains Russia’s ‘primary objective’ and Putin’s men are ‘likely to prioritise attempting to encircle the city over the coming weeks’, the ministry added.
It comes as Ukraine rejected Russian demands troops in the Black Sea port of Mariupol lay down their weapons and surrender in return for letting tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the heavily besieged city leave safely.
Russian Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev laid out Moscow’s offer late Sunday, in istanbul Turkey Law Firm saying Ukrainian troops and ‘foreign mercenaries’ who laid down their arms and raised white flags would be given safe passage.
But Mariupol rejected the demands within minutes, with Pyotr Andryushenko – an adviser to Mariupol mayor – saying Russian promises of amnesty could not be trusted and troops defending the city were determined to fight.
Elsewhere in the crisis overnight:
- The British Army banned WhatsApp over fears Russia is hacking it to get operationally sensitive information;
- Boris Johnson is considering a quick trip to Kyiv to show support for Ukraine’s battle against Vladimir Putin;
- A heart-breaking new video showing the devastation Ukraine has suffered has now emerged on social media;
- Volodymyr Zelensky’s government suspended 11 Ukrainian political parties due to alleged links with Russia;
- Joe Biden will travel to Poland Friday to discuss the international response to Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine.
Russian airstrikes destroyed the ‘Retroville’ shopping mall in the north of Kyiv on Monday, killing at least eight people and leaving others buried in the rubble
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