Russian strikes partially destroy Ukrainian military factory

Russian strikes partially destroy Ukrainian military factory

A Ukrainian military factory outside Kyiv, which produced missiles believed to have been used to attack Russia's Moskva warship, was partially destroyed by Russian strikes.

Russia's defence ministry pledged more strikes against the Ukrainian capital in response to attacks on Russian targets.

It said Russian troops hit a military factory outside Kyiv late Thursday using Kalibr long-range missiles.

A workshop and an administrative building at the Vizar plant, located in the Kyiv suburb of Vyshneve near the international Zhuliany airport, were seriously damaged.

Around 50 vehicles parked near the plant had their windows blown out.

Russia had earlier announced it had hit the factory using Kalibr sea-based long-range missiles.

The strike came on a day after Ukraine claimed it had destroyed Russia's Moskva warship, which Moscow later claimed had sunk.

Ukraine claimed Moskva's damage was caused by one of its missile strikes.

Russia's defence ministry spoke only of a fire and of exploding ammunition. Moscow said more than 500 sailors had been evacuated, but there was no official confirmation of the fate of the crew.

According to a statement on Ukraine's state weapons manufacturer Ukroboronprom website, the Vizar factory produced Neptune missiles.

Andrei Sizov, a 47-year-old owner of a nearby wood workshop, said the strikes came at night.

My security guard called me around 1: 30 am because there was an air strike, he told AFP.

He believes Russia is taking revenge for the Moskva warship, and that they are making us pay for the destruction of the Moskva. The Ukrainian governor of the southern Odesa region, Maxim Marchenko, said on Thursday that the Ukrainian army had used Neptune missiles to attack Moskva.

Moscow did not confirm this explanation for the sinking of its massive vessel, but said it only said that a fire broke out on board the 186-metre-long ship.

It said the cruiser sank during an attempt to tow it to the nearest port.

Two workers at the site of the Vizar factory told AFP that the strike had not caused any casualties, but Ukrainian authorities did not immediately confirm this information.

Cleaners were working to clear the rubble in the partially damaged administrative wing of the building.

Russian strikes in the Kyiv region have abated since the end of March when Moscow withdrew its troops, saying it wanted to concentrate on Ukraine's south and east.

Russia warned on Friday that it would intensify attacks on the capital after accusing Ukraine of targeting Russian border towns.

Kyiv denied this, instead claiming that Russia had staged the incidents to stir up anti-Ukrainian hysteria in the country.