KYIV, Ukraine — From what was left of her fourth-floor balcony, an elderly woman tossed piece after piece of debris to the grass below. Out went heaps of glass, insulation and wood. She occasionally paused to survey the damage around her.
She is among the scores of Ukrainian civilians displaced from their homes in Kyiv on Friday after an unidentified projectile struck just outside their apartment block before dawn, severely damaging the building and wounding several residents, including at least one in critical condition. The apparent Russian strike left behind a large crater that now sits just a few yards from a playground, which remained empty Friday except for one young boy digging in the dirt.
Andriy Zablotskiy, 37, was asleep in one room and his wife and 5-year-old son were in another when the blast struck just outside their windows early Friday in Kyiv. They ran to their bathroom, but then, fearing the building might collapse, fled to the street in their pajamas. Despite the scale of the damage in their apartment, which is on the second floor, no one in the family was injured.
Total numbers of civilian casualties in Ukraine remain unclear with no comprehensive figures released by Ukraine’s government. Early Friday, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said at least 137 people — civilians and military personnel — had been killed in the Russian attacks.
But Russia is facing growing accusations that its barrages are hitting civilian areas, and the tally of Ukrainians killed or injured could climb sharply as Russian forces push into Kyiv and other major cities, many now surrounded by Russian forces.