Russian strike destroys Ukrainian airport: Zelensky

By: AFP
Published: 12:19 AM, 7 Mar, 2022
Russian strike destroys Ukrainian airport: Zelensky
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A barrage of Russian missiles destroyed a civilian airport in Vinnytsia in central Ukraine on Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said. 

"I have just been informed about a missile strike on Vinnytsia. Eight rockets... The airport was completely destroyed," he said. Russia's defence ministry later confirmed the strikes.

"On March 6, an airfield of the Ukrainian Air Forces in Vinnytsia was put out of action with long-range high-precision weapons," defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a video briefing.  Several cities and airbases in Ukraine have been bombed, shelled or hit with ballistic missiles since Russia launched its 11-day-old invasion.

But Vinnytsia is in the western area of central Ukraine, far from the Russia and Belarus borders, in an area that has seen fewer such strikes.

Zelensky took the opportunity to renew his demand that Western powers enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine to prevent more Russian attacks.

"We repeat every day: close the sky over Ukraine. Close for all Russian missiles, for Russian combat aircraft, for all their terrorists," he said.

"If you don't, if you don't give us at least planes so we can protect ourselves, there's only one thing to conclude; you want us to be killed very slowly."

Dozens of civilians are being killed in the battle for Chernihiv in the north, with those who remain in the city living in craters or among the ruins.

Attempts to evacuate civilians from the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol -- which has neither power nor water -- fail for a second day over ceasefire breaches.

The Red Cross describes "devastating scenes of human suffering" in the battered Sea of Azov port. A barrage of Russian missiles destroy Vinnytsia airport in central Ukraine, Zelensky says.

Ukraine is the fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II, says the UN. More than 1.5 million people have fled into neighbouring countries since Russia invaded on February 24.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.