Russia launches ‘largest drone attack’ on Ukraine since start of 2022 invasion

25 November 2023, 17:34

A Ukrainian serviceman stands on top of a damaged school following a Russian drone attack in Kyiv
Russia Ukraine War. Picture: PA

Military officials said Kyiv ‘was the main target’.

Russia has launched its most intense drone attack on Ukraine since the beginning of its full-scale invasion in 2022, targeting the Ukrainian capital, military officials said.

“Kyiv was the main target,” wrote Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk on his Telegram channel.

In total, Russia launched around 75 Iranian-made Shahed drones against Ukraine, of which 74 were destroyed by air defences, Ukraine’s armed forces said.

Firefighters pass a crater left by drone fragments following a Russian attack on Kyiv
Firefighters pass a crater left by drone fragments following a Russian attack on Kyiv, Ukraine (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

The attack was “the most massive air attack by drones on Kyiv”, said Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv city administration.

Ukrainian air force spokesman Yurii Ihnat confirmed later that the air defences shot down 66 air targets over the capital and surrounding region throughout Saturday morning.

At least five civilians were wounded in the drone assault on Kyiv, which saw several buildings damaged, including a school. The wounded included an 11-year-old child, according to Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko.

In the city’s Solomiansky district, debris left a crater in the courtyard of a residential area, and the windows of a nearby building were blown out.

Residents, most of them elderly, received medical attention at the scene. Others took shelter in a nearby subway station. As people were clearing up debris and broken glass in the neighbourhood, the hum of a fresh wave of drones could be heard nearby.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Volodymyr Zelensky said soldiers shot down most of the drones (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

The assault on Kyiv began at 4am local time, continuing in waves for more than six hours, and caused power outages in 77 residential buildings and 120 institutions, according to Mr Popko.

Ukraine’s Energy Ministry said 17,000 people were without power in the Kyiv region as a result of the attack, noting that four power lines were damaged. Power was restored in the early afternoon.

“Our soldiers shot down most of the drones. Unfortunately, not all,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Telegram.

“But we continue to work to strengthen our air defence and shoot down more,” he said.

Speaking at the Grain from Ukraine summit on Saturday, which saw leaders and parliamentary representatives from Belgium, Ireland, Finland, the Czech Republic, Poland and Estonia meet with Zelenskyy in Kyiv to discuss global food security, the Ukrainian President warned that “if (Russian President Vladimir) Putin could arrange another Holodomor for Ukraine, he would do it”.

The attack was carried out on the morning of Holodomor Memorial Day which commemorates the man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine that killed millions of Ukrainians from 1932 to 1933, and is marked on the fourth Saturday in November.

In addition to Kyiv, the Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv and Kirovohrad regions were also targeted.

Meanwhile, shelling killed on person and wounded three in the southern region of Kherson, regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said on Saturday.

According to Mr Prokudin, the region had been shelled 100 times over the previous 24 hours.

By Press Association

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