Putin unleashes fresh onslaught on Kyiv, shelling capital hours after rushing to sudden late-night talks at Kremlin

RUSSIAN missiles rained down on Kyiv in a fresh attack just hours after Vladimir Putin rushed to a sudden late-night meeting in Kremlin.

The Russian leader attacked the Ukrainian capital in the early hours of Sunday morning, striking at least two buildings, according to the city’s mayor Vitali Klitschko.

The strike on Kyiv sparked a massive cloud of smoke


The strike on Kyiv sparked a massive cloud of smoke
Emergency services trying to rescue people after the attack


Emergency services trying to rescue people after the attackCredit: AP
There were Russian missile strikes on two residential buildings


There were Russian missile strikes on two residential buildingsCredit: Reuters

Footage shows a massive cloud of smoke billowing in the air following the missile strike in the city.

A video shows one of the targeted buildings in the Shevchenkivskyi district, destroyed as rescue services are battling to rescue civilians.

Heart-breaking footage shared by mayor Klitschko shows emergency crews rescuing a seven-year-old girl from the rubble.

The strike on Kyiv is only one of the attacks in Ukraine as 48 cruise missiles were launched on civilian targets across the country.

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The strikes hit military bases, civilian infrastructure and residential neighbourhoods including the northeastern village of Andriivka on Friday night.

The polytechnic in the northeastern city of Kharkiv was also damaged.

The mayor of Severodonetsk, Oleksand Struyk, said the city was “now under the full occupation of Russia” after weeks of battle. Ukrainian forces have retreated to regroup.

The fresh attack comes after Putin’s mysterious late-night meeting amid suspicions he has prepared a new televised statement on the war in Ukraine and tensions with the West.

Video shows his Aurus limousine in a late-night dash to his Moscow seat of power at 23:00 on Saturday night.

His Kremlin visit immediately followed talks with Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko in St Petersburg, 440 miles away, in which he agreed to supply advanced nuclear-capable arms to the Minsk dictator.

The meeting followed a night of bombardment on Ukrainian cities from Russian warplanes using Belarus airspace.

Putin’s spokesman did not deny the late-night dash to the Kremlin but ruled out the purpose of being a crisis meeting of top officials.

He also denied that Putin was to make an immediate emergency statement.

Peskov in a late-night statement told TASS: “No. Everything is not like that. Everything is normal.”

The Russian president has previously pre-recorded major announcements in the Kremlin which are then later released.

Fears have been sparked that the purpose of his visit was to prerecord an announcement of an escalation of hostilities.

Putin does not live in the Kremlin but at an out-of-town official residence, and in summer is frequently based in Sochi on the Black Sea.

Ukrainian official Anton Gerashchenko expressed concern that the visit signalled a new Putin statement on the war.

“Late at night on Saturday Putin suddenly drove into the Kremlin,” he said.

“Details: Peskov denied suggestions that appeared in the media that it was linked to an emergency meeting, and said that ‘everything was normal’.”

Yet before the invasion, Putin had pre-recorded a statement “to announce the start of the attack”.

At his meeting with Lukashenko, Putin vowed to supply Minsk with missile systems capable of carrying nuclear weapons,

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The Belarus dictator warned about the “aggressive”, “confrontational” and “repulsive” policies of his neighbours Lithuania and Poland.

“We will transfer Iskander-M tactical missile systems to Belarus, which can use both ballistic and cruise missiles, both in conventional and nuclear versions,” Putin was quoted as saying.

The attack on Kyiv followed Putin's late-night meeting


The attack on Kyiv followed Putin’s late-night meeting
Emergency crews rescuing civilians from the rubble


Emergency crews rescuing civilians from the rubbleCredit: Reuters
Putin was spotted heading to Moscow at 23.00 on Saturday night


Putin was spotted heading to Moscow at 23.00 on Saturday nightCredit: East2West

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