kyiv suffered an attack by 40 Russian drones, the largest since the start of the war

On the night from Saturday to Sunday, the Ukrainian capital suffered a massive attack by Russian drones, the largest reported since the start of the war as Kiev prepared to celebrate the anniversary of its founding. Although Ukrainian air defense destroyed the vast majority of the drones, at least two people were killed by falling debris.

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kyiv was the target of an unprecedented series of attacks by Russia. Military authorities claimed to have destroyed 52 of the 54 explosive drones launched by Moscow, some 40 of which were aimed at kyiv.

“This is the largest drone attack on the capital since the start of the Russian invasion,” the regional military administration said on Telegram on Sunday, adding, “it took place in several waves and the air alert lasted for more than five hours.”

Ukraine demonstrated its air defense capability and managed to destroy the vast majority of these drones.

“According to preliminary data, more than 40 Russian drones were destroyed by anti-aircraft defense” over kyiv, the institution explained.

The authorities recorded at least two dead and three injured in the Ukrainian capital due to falling debris.

“Following the destruction of the Russian drones,” “debris fell on a seven-story building” in the Golosiïvskiï district, killing one person and injuring another, the regional administration explained. This debris also started a fire in a warehouse area, injuring another person.

In the Solomianskiï neighborhood, “as a result of drone debris falling near a gas station, a 35-year-old woman was hospitalized and a 41-year-old man died,” Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

These attacks scared the inhabitants of the capital, many of them hearing the sound of the Shahed drones for the first time.

“People are shocked. There is a lot of damage, the windows are smashed and the roof is broken. Luckily we all survived, many were in the shelter,” Sergei Movchane, a resident of a building hit by a drone in the neighborhood, told AFP. of Petcherskii.

“barbaric” attacks

The European Union described as “barbaric” the Russian attacks this Sunday and Friday in the Dnipro clinic, which left at least 4 dead.

“Russia’s barbaric attacks continue, killing and terrorizing civilians: hospital attack in Dnipro, now Kiev,” said the spokeswoman for the European External Action Service (EEAS), Nabila Massrali, on her official Twitter account.

According to the Ukrainian air force, this time, Russia was targeting “military installations and critical infrastructure in the central regions of the country, especially in the kyiv region.”

It is the 14th Russian drone strike against kyiv since the beginning of the month. This Sunday, Ukrainians marked Kiev Day, the anniversary of the city’s official founding, and according to Ukrainian authorities, these mass attacks were no accident.

“Ukrainian history is a long-standing irritant to insecure Russians,” Ukraine’s top presidential adviser Andriy Yermak said on Telegram.

“Today, the enemy decided to ‘congratulate’ the people of Kiev on Kiev Day with the help of their deadly UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles),” the head of the city’s military administration, Sergi Popko Popko, also wrote.

escalation of attacks

The drone war has escalated since last month. On the Ukrainian front, Ukrainian air defenses and their sophisticated Western-supplied systems managed to shoot down most of the Russian airstrikes.

Explosion in the sky of kyiv on May 18, 2023.
Explosion in the sky of kyiv on May 18, 2023. © Reuters

Thus, in early May, Ukraine prevented another intense Russian air attack on its capital. Moscow had used its Kinzhal hypersonic aeroballistic missiles, described as some of the most advanced weapons in the country’s arsenal.

But as Ukraine prepares its counter-offensive to recapture Russian-occupied territories, Russian territory has also been the target of a series of drone strikes in recent weeks.

The most spectacular attack, for which kyiv did not claim responsibility, took place on May 3, when two drones were shot down over the Moscow Kremlin, the official residence of President Vladimir Putin.

With EFE, AP and AFP

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