Kyiv Endures a Third Air Attack in 5 Days as Russia Steps Up Bombardment of Cities

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- Russia launched missiles against Kyiv for the third time in five days Monday, part of an apparent escalation of aerial bombardment of Ukrainian cities by the Kremlin's forces as the war stretches into its third year with the front line largely stationary.

Five people were injured in the strike on the the Ukrainian capital, with two of them taken to hospital, Kyiv Mayor Vitalii Klitschko said.

Russia fired two ballistic missiles at Kyiv from occupied Crimea in the daylight attack, but both were intercepted above the city, Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv City Military Administration, said. Multiple explosions were heard in the city, in the latest scare for residents.

Missile debris damaged homes in two districts and a gym in another district of the city, Ukraine's National Police said.

The attack came three days after a concert hall attack in Russia that killed more than 130 people.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to tie the attack to Ukraine, even though an affiliate of the Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

Putin could use the Moscow attack to shore up support for the war and as a pretext to escalate attacks on Ukraine, analysts said.