On Thursday Ukraine's government is alleging that a Russian cruise missile slammed into the capital of Kiev at the very moment the United Nations secretary-general and Bulgaria’s prime minister were visiting. UN chief Antonio Guterres was there meeting with President Zelensky and other top officials less than 24 hours after first meeting with President Putin in Moscow - something which he came under criticism for.
"Russia stroke Kyiv with cruise missiles right when UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Bulgarian PM Kiril Petkov visit our capital. By this heinous act of barbarism Russia demonstrates once again its attitude towards Ukraine, Europe and the world,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated in the alleged attack aftermath.
War is evil. pic.twitter.com/LUKYqLTnyB— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) April 28, 2022
And mayor the capital city Vitali Klitschko informed the public in an Instagram post, "Friends! Tonight the enemy fired at Kyiv. Two hits in the Shevchenko district. All services are in place. Information about the victims is being clarified."
Kiev has throughout the over two-month long war at various times come under direct missile fire and shelling; however, such attacks on the capital have grown more rare of late as Russia has been focused primarily on combat operations in the east and south.
What was a potential 'close call' is likely to spark outrage among NATO allies, given the presence of the Bulgarian prime minister - a NATO member country. Just in the two days prior to the trip, Russia halted natural gas deliveries to Bulgaria, for refusing to settle existing contracts in rubles.
PM Petkov tweeted just after meeting with the Ukrainian president, "Bulgaria stands firmly by Ukraine." He accompanied Guterres on the trip, which included visiting the areas of Borodyanka, Bucha and Irpin - where Ukraine has alleged major Russian war crimes.
Russia's cruise missile strike against Ukraine's capital of Kyiv – where UN Secretary General Antonio Guteres is visiting – comes almost exactly 24 hours after the UN chief met Putin at the Kremlin.— Jack Detsch (@JackDetsch) April 28, 2022
Putin agreed in principle at that meet to allow safe corridors from Mariupol.
As for the UN chief, he had said while touring battlegrounds:
"So, the war is an absurdity in the 21st century. The war is evil. And when one sees these situations our heart, of course, stays with the victims."
Guterres himself hasn't as yet mentioned observing any rocket attacks while he was there. Ironically enough, the prior day there appeared to be agreement between the UN Secretary-General and the Russian government on cooperating on securing safe passage for Ukrainian civilians caught in the fighting.
"We urgently need humanitarian corridors that are truly safe and effective," Guterres had told the Russians. "To that end, I have proposed the establishment of a humanitarian contact group bringing together the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the United Nations to look for opportunities for the opening of safe corridors."