Air raid warning and report of explosion in Kyiv during visit of African heads of state

An air raid alert sounded and an explosion was reported in Kyiv. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and several African leaders are in the Ukrainian capital.

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, Senegalese President Macky Sall, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Madbuly were among the distinguished guests in Kyiv. On Friday, they also visited Butsha, where Russian occupation forces killed scores of civilians last year.

Six of them are Kinzjal hypersonic missiles, according to the Air Force.

An airborne warning sounded in Kyiv after the air force reported that several Russian rockets had been fired from the Black Sea towards the capital.

There are reports of explosions. It comes from an air defense system in Kyiv, according to mayor Vitaly Klitschko.

There was no damage to the area or building, he said in a message on Telegram.


Earlier on Friday, authorities urged residents to stay in shelters.

The attack came as a delegation of African leaders, led by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, was visiting Kyiv. Ukraine believes the attack from Russia is a message to African leaders.

– Russian rockets are a message to Africa: Russia wants more war, not peace, said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, pointing out that this was the biggest attack on Kyiv in weeks.

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Will discuss the peace plan

The African delegation is scheduled to discuss a peace plan for Ukraine with President Volodymyr Zelenskyj in Kyiv. Ramaphosa and other leaders arrived in Kyiv early Friday by train from Poland.

The group includes heads of state from Senegal, Congo, Zambia and Comoros. Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly is participating from Egypt, and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is represented by a former prime minister because Museveni has contracted the coronavirus.

Stop at the border

According to South African media, Ramaphosa’s security guards were stopped at the border with Poland because they did not have proper documentation regarding the weapons they were carrying. Therefore, Ramaphosa had fewer guards with him than usual.

On Saturday, the African delegation traveled to Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin.

African countries import large quantities of grain and fertilizer from Russia and Ukraine. The war has caused a trade blockade and soaring prices. South Africa has been accused of pro-Russia and is suspected of sending weapons to Russia.

Lance Heptinstall

"Hardcore zombie fan. Incurable internet advocate. Subtly charming problem solver. Freelance twitter ninja."

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