Russia missile attack on Kyiv region injures two and damages houses, Ukraine says

Moscow may change the timing for use of its nuclear weapons if threats against Russia increase, lawmaker says

Russian president Vladimir Putin takes part at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Alexandrovsky Garden near the Kremlin wall in Moscow on Saturday. Photograph: Alexander Kazakov/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Two people were injured and scores of residential and other buildings were damaged in a Russian missile attack on the Kyiv region overnight, the head of the region’s state administration said on Sunday.

Of the three missiles launched by Russia, Ukraine’s air defence systems destroyed two over the Kyiv region, Ukraine’s Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk said on Sunday.

In his statement on the Telegram messaging app, Oleshchuk did not say what happened to the third missile.

Falling debris injured two people who did not require hospitalisation, Ruslan Kravchenko, head of the Kyiv region's administration, said on Telegram.

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Debris also damaged six multistorey residential buildings and more than 20 private houses, Kravchenko added. In addition, a gas station, a pharmacy, an administrative building and three cars in the region were also damaged.

Kyiv, its surrounding region and several others across Ukraine were under air raid alerts for about an hour on Sunday morning, starting at 4:50am local time (01:50 GMT).

Reuters witnesses reported hearing several blasts in and around Kyiv at the time that sounded like air defence systems hitting air weapons.

In Russia, one person was killed and three wounded after Ukrainian drones attacked the town of Graivoron in the Belgorod region, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Sunday on the Telegram messaging app.

Meanwhile, Moscow may change the timing for use of its nuclear weapons if threats against Russia increase, the RIA state news agency cited Andrei Kartapolov, the head of the Russian lower house’s defence committee, as saying on Sunday.

The former general’s comments follow recent warnings by President Vladimir Putin that Moscow may change its nuclear doctrine, which lays out the conditions in which such weapons could be used.

“If we see that the challenges and threats increase, it means that we can correct something in [the doctrine] regarding the timing of the use of nuclear weapons and the decision to make this use,” the agency quoted Kartapolov as saying.

“But of course, it’s too early to talk about specifics now.”

Russia’s 2020 nuclear doctrine sets out when its president would consider using a nuclear weapon: broadly as a response to an attack using nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction, or conventional weapons “when the very existence of the state is put under threat”.

Putin has also said Russia could test a nuclear weapon, if necessary, though he saw no need to do so at the present time.

The heightened rhetoric on nuclear weapons comes as both Russian and US diplomats say that Russia’s war in Ukraine, launched against its smaller neighbour in 2022, is in the most dangerous phase yet.

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