Russia strikes Kyiv in fresh daylight attack following overnight drone barrage

29 May 2023, 14:36

Ukraine's capital Kyiv has come under daylight attacks by Russia for the first time in months
Ukraine's capital Kyiv has come under daylight attacks by Russia for the first time in months. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Russia has launched a fresh missile attack on Kyiv after two nights of heavy drone strikes.

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Explosions rocked Kyiv again on Monday morning, with the city centre appearing to be the main target.

The missiles were all understood to have been shot down and there are no reports of casualties, despite flaming debris landing in residential areas across the capital.

It comes after the "most massive attack" on the city occurred overnight into Sunday with Iranian-made Shahed drones, according to senior Kyiv military official Serhii Popko.

"Emergency services have responded to a call near the centre of the capital. The attack on Kyiv continues. Don't leave the shelters!" Mayor Vitaly Klitschko wrote on the Telegram messaging app as residents ran to shelters in metro stations.

The attacks were part of a new wave of increasingly frequent and intense air strikes launched by Moscow this month as Kyiv prepares to launch a counteroffensive to try to take back territory occupied by Russian forces.

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People take cover at metro station during a Russian rocket attack in Kyiv,
People take cover at metro station during a Russian rocket attack in Kyiv,. Picture: Alamy

The second overnight barrage on Sunday evening lasted more than five hours, with air defences reportedly shooting down more than 40 drones.

It came as Kyiv prepared to mark the anniversary of its founding.

A 41-year-old man was killed and a 35-year-old woman was injured when debris fell on a seven-storey non-residential building and started a fire, Mr Klitschko said.

Ukraine's air force said Saturday night was also record-breaking in terms of Shahed drone attacks across the country. Of the 54 drones launched, 52 were shot down by air defence systems.

In the north-eastern Kharkiv province, regional governor Oleh Syniehubov said a 61-year-old woman and a 60-year-old man were killed in two separate shelling attacks.

Kyiv Day, which fell on Sunday, is usually celebrated with live concerts, street fairs, exhibitions and fireworks, but scaled-back festivities were planned for this year - the city's 1,541st anniversary.

The timing of the drone attacks was likely not coincidental, Ukrainian officials said.

"The history of Ukraine is a long-standing irritant for the insecure Russians," Ukraine's chief presidential aide Andriy Yermak said on Telegram.

Mr Popko added: "Today, the enemy decided to 'congratulate' the people of Kyiv on Kyiv Day with the help of their deadly UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles)."

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