S.Africa Spokesperson Says Alleged Missile Attack in Kiev Was Fabricated

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south africa, reuters, vincent magwenya, russia, ukraine, air strikes, air raid, sirens

south africa, reuters, vincent magwenya, russia, ukraine, air strikes, air raid, sirens

Five African leaders and other officials are traveling to Ukraine and Russia on Friday and Saturday, seeking a roadmap for peace in the region.

South African presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya accused Reuters of spreading lies after the outlet said a Russian missile strike sent his delegation running for a bunker.

Magwenya shared a video of the city and denied there was an attack on the city:

“I took the video from the hotel here in [Kiev]. It’s very strange that we didn’t hear or see an explosion. There’s obviously some deliberate misinformation being spread here. People are going on about their day,” Magwenya posted, adding that the incident was hampering their mission.

“As we expected this mission was never going to be easy but some of the hurdles are deeply disturbing, like the treatment you all received and others outright amusing, like this so called explosion.”

Air raid sirens have sounded multiple times when Western leaders have visited Ukraine, even when no strikes were taking place.

In February, air raid sirens blared while US President Joe Biden visited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev. However, it was later reported that no attacks were reported at the time and the sirens had not been alerted in the five days beforehand. One US outlet noted the sirens were only activated when the cameras were on Biden and Zelensky.

South-Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) attend the first plenary session as part of the 2019 Russia-Africa Summit at the Sirius Park of Science and Art in Sochi, Russia, on October 24, 2019 - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.04.2023

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Ukrainian officials had touted the alleged missile attack as proof that Russia is not interested in peace. “Russian missiles are a message to Africa: Russia wants more war, not peace,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

Zelensky has made it clear during the visit that Ukraine’s position on peace talks has not changed: the country will not negotiate until the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. Ukraine has also pushed back at peace roadmaps from other countries such as Brazil and China, whereas Russia has expressed an openness to third-party peace mediation.

The latest comes as South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s security detail was detained in an airport in Poland on Thursday, with authorities demanding they hand over their weapons. After a standoff lasting more than 24 hours, they were allowed to depart Friday afternoon. Ramaphosa arrived in Ukraine by train.

Ramaphosa, meanwhile, has pointed out that even during the apartheid, Nelson Mandela said that peace proposals should always be on the table.

Ramaphosa and company arrived in Kiev to speak with Zelensky in what they have described as a peace mission. They will travel to Russia and speak to President Vladimir Putin on Saturday.

In addition to Ramaphosa, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Hichilema of Zambia, President Azali Assoumani of Comoros and representatives of Egypt, Congo and Uganda are part of the peace mission.





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