Residents of Kyiv have been urged to stay inside unless absolutely necessary as high winds batter the city on Saturday, killing at least three people.

In a post on social media just after midday, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said two men aged 65 and 36 had died and seven others had been injured. More than 250 trees had been uprooted or damaged, he added.

Oleksiy Kuleba, the deputy head of the presidential office, later raised the death toll to three.

"Several more people have been injured," he added. Kuleba said that some 300,000 people in 14 regions were without power.

He said the western Khmelnytskyi region was the worst affected. Regionals officials said winds there reached up to 30 miles (48 kilometres) per hour.

 

“Be careful, don't go outside without an urgent need! he wrote. “According to forecasters, bad weather will rage until the end of the day.”

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Adding to the city’s woes, an air raid alert sounded shortly before 11am which, at the time of writing, was still in place.

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