Thousands of people are taking shelter in Kiev to escape the Russian missile attack

(CNN) — Ukraine’s capital was hit by a massive missile attack for the first time in six weeks on Thursday morning, just hours after US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan visited the city.

More than 25,000 people took shelter in the city’s subway stations while the attack was underway, with videos and images shared on social media showing crowds filling the underground and reminiscent of the early days of the war.

Officials said Russia fired two ballistic missiles and 29 cruise missiles at the Kiev area, all of which were shot down. Tests will confirm what type of missiles were fired, but an Air Force statement suggested it was possible the ballistic missiles were of North Korean origin.

Officials say about a dozen people were injured by falling debris; There were no reports of any casualties.

Rescue workers work on a building damaged during a Russian missile attack in Kiev on Thursday. (Credit: Alina Smutko/Reuters)

Valentina Ivanovna, an 80-year-old woman who lives in Kiev’s central Podil district, told CNN she was woken up at 5 a.m. by a loud explosion that shattered her windows.

“I don’t know if it was a missile or what it was, but now I have holes instead of windows. I’m okay, but there are no windows in my kitchen and living room anymore. I was sleeping in the bedroom, which is behind the other wall, so who saved me from the shrapnel,” he said.

Anastasia Shulha showed CNN the inside of her flower shop, which also had a broken front window and damaged front door.

“Actually, this is the second time my store has been attacked. The last time was in late spring last year,” he said.

Pointing to the store’s damaged door, he said, “Everything is open and anyone can come in. I have to stay here until the window and door are replaced.”

Ruslan Kravchenko, head of the Kiev region’s military administration, said there were no attacks on critical infrastructure or residential buildings, although images showed at least one close-in incident.

Videos and images show a large crater just meters away from tall residential buildings. One image shows nearby cars caked in dirt from the collision.

Rescue workers work at the site of a building damaged during a Russian missile attack.  (Photo: Alina Smutko/Reuters)

Rescue workers work at the site of a building damaged during a Russian missile attack. (Photo: Alina Smutko/Reuters)

The Kyiv city office said more than 25,000 people, including 3,000 children, took shelter in the city’s metro stations by 6 a.m., when the air raid warning was lifted.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the latest attack was a reminder of why he is seeking more military support from allies.

“Russian terrorists do not have missiles that could bypass the defense of the (American-made) Patriot and other world-leading systems. Now this protection is necessary here in Ukraine (…). This is possible if our partners have There must be sufficient political will.” he wrote on the social network.

An Air Force statement suggested that the ballistic missiles were either of the KN-23 type, a North Korean-made Iskander-M class missile, or of the Kh-47M2 type, which is Russian-made and commonly known as Kinzhal. Known as. Last month, a Ukrainian official said that Russia had used North Korean missiles on dozens of occasions to attack Ukraine.

Many people take shelter inside a Kyiv metro station during a missile bombardment. (Credit: Alina Smutko/Reuters)

US says North Korea supports Russia

US and South Korean officials have accused North Korea of ​​supplying missiles and other military equipment to Russia in recent months.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said at a White House briefing in early January that Russia fired North Korean-made missiles at Ukraine on December 30 and January 2.

Kirby and analysts who spoke to CNN said the introduction of North Korean weapons into the war in Ukraine would have ramifications 7,500 kilometers east of the Korean Peninsula. “This is a significant and worrying increase in North Korea’s support for Russia,” Kirby said.

On February 26, South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik said that North Korean munitions factories producing weapons and projectiles for Russia “are operating at full capacity.” In return, he said, Russia is providing food and other necessities to North Korea.

On Wednesday, Sullivan told reporters in Kiev that he is confident the U.S. House of Representatives will eventually approve additional military aid for Ukraine, even though it has been blocked multiple times in Congress for several months.

Last month, the US Senate passed a supplemental bill that would have opened the way for $60 billion in military aid, but House Speaker Mike Johnson declined to vote on it. Current discussions on Capitol Hill are reportedly focused on trying to get at least some aid approved in the form of loans, which could secure support from House Republicans.

“We are confident that we will get a strong bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives for an aid package for Ukraine and get that money out the door (…). It’s taken too long… I’m about “I’m not going to predict when exactly that will be done,” Sullivan said Wednesday, the first visit to Ukraine by a senior White House official in six months.

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