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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


‘I didn’t deny anything’ – Magwenya on Russian missile attack

Ramaphosa's spokesperson Vincent Magwenya received severe backlash after apparently denying aRussian missile attack in Kyiv on Friday


President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magawenya is adamant he did not “hear any explosion, see any missile or heard any siren’s” in Kyiv during the president’s time in the country for the African Peace Mission.

Magwenya arrived in the Ukrainian capital on Friday morning June 16, as part of an African delegation attempting to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky and broker a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine.

Missile attack

It is believed that shortly after Ramaphosa’s delegation arrived, Kyiv was targeted by a Russian missile attack.

According to Kyiv Post, its reporters including “every other media organisation present in the city – saw and heard the missiles in the skies over the capital, and witnessed several loud explosions as they were intercepted.”

Magwenya received severe backlash after apparently denying the Russian missile attack in Kyiv on Friday.

ALSO READ: Kyiv air raid: Vincent Magwenya slammed as ‘biggest liar in world’

No denials

Responding to a user on Twitter, the president’s spokesperson said he is not denying the Kyiv air raid.

“I didn’t deny anything. All I said was, and I still say it, despite the insults and vitriolic responses aimed at me. I did not hear any explosion or see any missile or heard any siren.”

Magwenya also said he was not in a bomb shelter with the rest of the delegation and may not have heard the sirens.

“No, Pippa, I was not in the shelter. Only the president and the minister were in the shelter. I was on the 11th floor of the hotel, watching people walking leisurely in the street. The hotel was not even under lockdown, and it was business as usual.”

Putin showed interest

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday interrupted opening remarks by African leaders seeking to mediate in the Ukraine conflict to deliver a list of reasons why he believed many of their proposals were misguided.

Ramaphosa and the African leaders arrived in Russia on Saturday, committed to encouraging peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv.

News24 reported that after presentations from the Comoran, Senegalese and South African leaders, the Russian leader stepped in to challenge the plan’s assumptions before the round of comments from all the representatives could go any further.

Putin reiterated that Ukraine and the West had started the conflict long before Russia sent its armed forces over the border in February last year.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Ramaphosa security head accuses Polish government of ‘sabotage, racism’

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