Russian leadership trying to humiliate UN: Zelenskyy following strikes on Kyiv after UN chief press conference

UN guterres zelenskyy meet

UN Chief Guterres with Ukranian President Zelenskyy at a press conference in Kyiv (Twitter/UN)

Photo : Twitter

Russian strikes that hit a residential neighbourhood in Kyiv as the UN’s secretary general was visiting on Thursday were an attempt “to humiliate” the global body, President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

“Today, immediately after the end of our talks in Kyiv, Russian missiles flew into the city. Five rockets. And this says a lot… about the Russian leadership’s efforts to humiliate the UN and everything that the organisation represents,” Zelensky said, adding that it required “a correspondingly powerful reaction”.

Describing Ukraine as “an epicenter of unbearable heartache and pain”, the UN chief Antonio Guterres took to the podium alongside its president in Kyiv on Thursday, vowing to increase support for the people amidst the suffering, and the millions displaced in the wake of Russia’s invasion.

“I am here to focus on ways on how the UN can expand support for the people of Ukraine, saving lives, reduce suffering and help find the path of peace”, Guterres told reporters from across the world gathered in a stately room, with curtains drawn.

Shortly after the press conference, Russian missile strikes slammed into Kyiv, in the first such bombardment of Ukraine’s capital since mid-April, the mayor and AFP correspondents said.

There was no immediate information about casualties from the strikes, which hit a western part of the city centre, but a close aide to the UN chief sent a message to journalists confirming they were safe.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said there had been “two hits in the Shevchenkovsky district” in a post on Telegram and said they were clarifying details about casualties.

AFP correspondents saw black smoke pouring into the air and a building in flames with a heavy presence of police and rescuers in the area.