And the Russian army confirmed, on Monday, that the commercial center that was destroyed by a strong Russian strike at night in the capital, Kyiv, was empty of people and used as a warehouse for weapons and ammunition.
The Russian Ministry of Defense announced, in its regularly held press conference on its military operation in Ukraine, that “a Ukrainian missile launcher battery and a storage base for its ammunition with long-range precision weapons were destroyed on the night of March 21 in a non-functioning mall.”
Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov showed aerial footage of the bombing, and accused Ukraine of using civilian infrastructure as a shield for artillery and missile systems it uses to attack Russian forces.
Konashenkov said a square near the mall was used to store missile systems, and showed a video of a military vehicle driving near the building.
He also showed night vision scenes of a massive explosion from the roof of the building.
The 10-storey building was hit by a powerful explosion that smashed vehicles into a parking lot and left a crater several meters wide.
For its part, the Ukrainian emergency services announced that “enemy bombardment” caused fires on several floors, and published security camera footage showing a huge explosion and a cloud of smoke, followed by a series of smaller explosions.
At night, AFP journalists reported that a large explosion rocked the city and fires were seen burning in the mall.
People who live in an apartment building close to the mall whose windows were shattered by the blast, said they saw a mobile rocket launcher near the mall several days ago.
Igor Konashenkov considered the Russian army’s aerial footage as “conclusive evidence of the criminal use of civilian buildings by the Kyiv nationalist regime, as firing positions for artillery and missile systems.”
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