- The building in Kyiv, which was damaged by a missile strike in the first days of the war, has indeed been restored – initially through donations and personal contributions from residents and then the works were taken over by the city authority.
- The damages on the 27-storey tower and the process of its renovation were closely covered and documented by a number of Ukrainian and international media.
In February photographs of a high-rise residential block circulated on Twitter, claiming that the building, which was hit by a Russian missile strike on Kyiv last year, had now been fully restored. Due to the extent of the damages and the relatively short time interval, users expressed doubt in the pictures’ authenticity, guessing that the photos showing the restored building were actually taken before the war.
The image is split in two – the left half shows the building immediately after the attack and the right one claims to show the way it looks after the renovation.
After receiving a question from our reader Tsvetomir Dimitrov, Factcheck.bg examined the evidence.
The high-rise block in the pictures was one of the first residential buildings in Kyiv to be hit by Russia’s strikes on Ukraine. On the Saturday morning of 26 February 2022 a Russian missile tore into one of its corners. Emergency services received the first call about the incident at 8:15 am. Rescue workers searched the affected areas, helping out the injured. No one was killed. The building has 27 floors and is located in Kyiv’s southwestern neighbourhoods, at 6a Lobanovskyi Avenue.
They published video footage and photos clearly showing the damages to the building from various angles. Ukrainian media reported that 6 flats had been completely destroyed and were uninhabitable, while 16 others had suffered less serious damages.
During Russian missile fire Ukraine’s population is advised to observe the so-called rule of the two walls. That means staying in those parts of a building in which one would have at least two walls separating them from the outside. The rule is the mostly likely explanation why there were no fatalities in the attack.
It took over 10 months to restore the building
In the beginning residents did not think the building was likely to be fixed any time soon as the war was still going on and authorities were prioritising repairs of damaged infrastructure and public buildings.
After the missile strike almost all residents moved out because they considered the building too dangerous and because in the first week following the attack there was no electricity, water or heating. Those services were soon restored and even an emergency lift was put into operation, residents told the media. They began clearing the debris themselves and started raising funds to secure the parts of the building that had lost their concrete supports against collapsing. They managed to raise over $50,000 and the building was reinforced using steel pillars to support the upper floors.
This photo from June 2022 was taken by Petko Petkov, a Bulgarian living in Kyiv. The steel supports holding up the parts above the site of the impact are clearly visible.
At the end of May the Kyiv local authorities announced that they would cover the expenses for the building’s full renovation. Following an inspection, construction experts decided that the floors above the impact site were too damaged, structures were bent out of shape and would therefore have to be removed and completely replaced. The cost of renovation was estimated at over 50 million hrivnyas or more than $1.3 million.
Photos from the next stage of the repair works can be found on social media, showing how the entire upper right corner of the building has been dismantled.
In August and September 2022 some Ukraininan television channels aired reports about the ongoing renovation works at 6a Lobanovskyi Avenue, in which the missing parts of the top storeys can also be seen. According to the BBC, quoting information from the Kyiv City Authority, there were 17 multi-family residential buildings that were seriously damaged by Russian missile strikes. Last year the council financed the reconstruction of 11 of them, while works on the remaining ones were scheduled for the first half of 2023.
A video published by news channel News LIVE on YouTube shows the state of the repair works in November last year.
In December the Kyiv City Authority published photos of some the buildings whose reconstruction had been completed. Among them was the high-rise on Lobanovskyi Avenue. The images show that the building was structurally restored but work on its fasade was not finished.
News of the topic as well as pictures of the renovated building appeared on various Ukrainian media over the past months. The legitimacy of those reports was also confirmed by our colleagues from the Ukrainian fact-checking platform Stopfake.org.
The high-rise residential building in Kyiv whose photographs are circulating on Twitter has indeed been restored, after it was hit by a Russian missile on 26 February 2022. Despite the extent of the damages and the relatively short timeframe the affected parts of the building are now habitable. Damages on the tower, as well as the process of its renovation, were closely covered by Ukrainian and international media.