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Date : May 26, 2022

Explosions rock Kyiv after Kremlin vowed to increase missile strikes

Explosions rocked the outskirts of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv early Saturday, the city’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a statement posted to his Telegram channel, as officials in the western city of Lviv said missiles had been fired at the city.

Thick smoke could be seen rising above the Darnytskyi district in eastern Kyiv, where Klitschko said rescuers and paramedics were on the scene. His comments came as Maksym Kosytskiy, the governor of Lviv region said in an online statement that an air raid had been launched on the city.

The attacks came after Russia’s defense ministry vowed to increase missile strikes on Kyiv after weeks in which the city had begun to recover.

The Kremlin also sent a formal diplomatic note to the United States warning that American and NATO shipments of the “most sensitive” weapons systems to Ukraine could bring “unpredictable consequences” and were “adding fuel” to the conflict.

A White House official has confirmed the contents of the note first reported by The Washington Post.

Explosions rocked the Darnytskyi district on the outskirts of Kyiv and an air raid was launched on the western city of Lviv early Saturday, Ukrainian officials said.

Attacks came after Russia’s Defense Ministry promised to step up missile attacks on Kyiv in response to Ukraine’s alleged assaults on Russian territory.

Russian troops have hampered the ability to get humanitarian aid into Ukraine “by destroying bridges, employing land mines and abandoning vehicles,” Britain’s defense ministry said in an intelligence briefing.

Explosions rock outskirts of Kyiv

Explosions rocked a district on the outskirts of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv early Saturday, the city’s mayor said.

“In the morning Kyiv came under fire. The explosions took place in Darnytskyi district on the outskirts of the city,” Vitali Klitschko said in a statement posted to his Telegram channel. Thick smoke could be seen rising above the area.

Rescuers and paramedics were on the scene, Klitschko said.

He added that residents who had left the city should refrain from returning home and “stay in safer places.”

Biden genocide comment raised concern among some U.S. officials

President Joe Biden’s declaration this week that Russia is committing “genocide” in Ukraine raised concerns among some officials in his own government and has so far not been corroborated by information collected by U.S. intelligence agencies, according to senior administration officials.

At the State Department, which is tasked with making formal determinations of genocide and war crimes through an independent legal process, two officials said that Biden’s seemingly offhand declaration during a domestic policy speech in Iowa on Tuesday made it harder for the agency to credibly do its job.

U.S. intelligence agencies collect information when allegations are made of actions that could amount to genocide, but policymakers are the ones who actually decide whether to declare it. Intelligence reports on Ukraine currently do not support a genocide designation, officials said.

Photographing the war in Ukraine

Devastated roads, infrastructure hampering humanitarian aid in Ukraine, U.K. says

Roads in Ukraine have been devastated by the war launched by Russia, which is causing a “significant challenge” in getting humanitarian aid to parts of the country, the United Kingdom defense ministry said Saturday.

Russian troops have made the damage worse “by destroying bridges, employing land mines and abandoning vehicles along key routes as they withdrew from northern Ukraine,” the defense ministry said in its daily update.

At least 7.1 million people in Ukraine have been internally displaced, on top of the more than 4.5 million who have fled the country as refugees, the United Nations’ humanitarian office said this week. The war has caused a humanitarian crisis, officials have said.