War in Ukraine: Russian missiles hit Ukraine's capital after the Moskva ship was sunk

Published April 16, 2022 at 9:52 AM EDT
Women clean in a building with a collapsed facade at the Vizar company military-industrial complex after the site was hit by overnight Russian strikes in the town of Vyshneve, outside of Kyiv, on Friday.
Fadel Senna
/
AFP via Getty Images
Women clean in a building with a collapsed facade at the Vizar company military-industrial complex after the site was hit by overnight Russian strikes in the town of Vyshneve, outside of Kyiv, on Friday.

Russia struck the capital city of Kyiv after Ukrainian missiles damaged the flagship of Russia's Black Sea fleet, which later sank. The Pentagon has confirmed the ship was hit by Ukraine, and a senior defense official tells NPR there were likely casualties.

Here's more context to understand Ukraine and the impact of the invasion:

Follow the latest developments.

Military strategy

A Ukrainian official predicts Russia's next target to be the Izyum region

Posted April 16, 2022 at 1:00 PM EDT
A photo captured Thursday from Ukraine's Defense Ministry reportedly shows Russian military vehicles heading toward Izyum, on a blown up bridge in Kharkiv region in Ukraine.
Ukraine's Defense Ministry
/
AP
A photo captured Thursday from Ukraine's Defense Ministry reportedly shows Russian military vehicles heading toward the Izyum region on a blown-up bridge in the Kharkiv region.

Russian forces appear to be stationary as they continue targeting the eastern parts of Ukraine. Fighting is intensifying in the Donbas region, and air raid sirens are on day and night in Dnipro, NPR’s Eyder Peralta reports.

But the front lines of Russian troops don’t appear to be moving. The deputy governor of Kharkiv, Roman Semenukha, told NPR that the Russian military is striking as many targets as possible — from roads to schools to homes and businesses, rather than a few critical targets.

“If they had a goal to take electricity out of the city, they would aim for only like electricians stations or something like that, to the critical infrastructure points. But we have no logic in that, so they don't do it,” Semenukha said.

He says that the Russians are instead hitting several targets to keep Ukrainian forces occupied on multiple fronts.

Semenukha also said he expects the region around Izyum to be the Russians' next primary target and that there will be heavy fighting. If Russians can take Izyum, he said, they will be able to encircle Kharkiv — Ukraine’s second largest city — or they can move to Dnipro to expand control in eastern Ukraine.

Russian attacks

Kyiv's mayor warns residents to stay away after renewed attacks on the city

Posted April 16, 2022 at 11:02 AM EDT
Volodymyr Bondar, 61, mourns next to the grave of his son Oleksandr, 32, after burying him at the cemetery in Bucha, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine. Russians have returned to attacking the Kyiv region and officials expect more strikes to come.
Emilio Morenatti/AP
/
AP
Volodymyr Bondar, 61, mourns next to the grave of his son Oleksandr, 32, after burying him at the cemetery in Bucha, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine. Russians have returned to attacking the Kyiv region and officials expect more strikes to come.

Russians have returned to attacking Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv.

The mayor is urging residents to remain vigilant after more strikes occurred in the southeastern part of the city overnight. There were explosions on the left bank of the Dnipro river in the Darnytsky district, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a post on Facebook. The strikes hit a military hardware factory, according to the AFP.

Information on victims has not yet been released by authorities.

Klitschko said rescuers and medics are currently working on the site and said residents of the area should “not neglect air alarm signals."

The mayor also urged residents who are considering returning to Kyiv to re-think and remain in safer areas. He believes that Russians will circle back.

Russia's response

Russia bans Boris Johnson and other senior British officials from entering the country

Posted April 16, 2022 at 10:30 AM EDT
Russia has banned top British officials, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, from entering the country. It's the latest move in a back-and-forth of expulsions of diplomats between the EU and Russia.
Matt Dunham/AP
/
AP Pool
Russia has banned top British officials, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, from entering the country. It's the latest move in a back-and-forth of expulsions of diplomats between the EU and Russia.

Top British officials, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have been banned from entering Russia.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the ban was imposed in response to “hostile actions” by the British government, as well as sanctions against top Russian officials.

The blacklist comes just hours after Moscow announced the expulsion of 18 European Union diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to EU expulsions of Russian diplomats.

In March, Russia bannedtop U.S. officials and diplomats from entering the country. The list includes President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Biden's son, Hunter Biden, are also banned.

Civilian deaths

Ukraine police say more than 900 bodies of civilians have been found in the Kyiv region

Posted April 16, 2022 at 10:19 AM EDT
Nadiya Trubchaninova, 70, sits next to a plastic bag that contains the body of her son Vadym Trubchaninov, 48, who was killed by Russian soldiers in Bucha on March 30, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine.
Rodrigo Abd
/
AP
Nadiya Trubchaninova, 70, sits next to a plastic bag that contains the body of her son, Vadym Trubchaninov, 48, who was killed by Russian soldiers in Bucha on March 30, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine.

Police in Ukraine say they’ve discovered more than 900 bodies of civilians killed in the Russian invasion in the region surround Kyiv.

The head of Kyiv’s regional police force, Andriy Nebytov, said at a news conference that 95% of the people died from gunshot wounds from snipers or small arms. The bodies were found in an area already left behind by Russian forces.

“We understand that during occupation people were simply shot in the streets,” Nebytov said.

He added that more bodies are being found every day under rubble and in mass graves. According to The Associated Press, bodies were found abandoned in the streets, or they were given temporary burials.

The highest number of bodies were found in Bucha, where there were 350 victims counted. Images from Bucha of bodies lining the streets have prompted accusations of war crimes against Russia.