Russia launches largest drone attack on Ukraine since start of invasion, says Ukrainian military

AP , Saturday 25 Nov 2023

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

Ukrainian tank crew members of the 21st Mechanized Brigade sit on a snow covered German made Leopard
Ukrainian tank crew members of the 21st Mechanized Brigade sit on a snow-covered German made Leopard 2A5 battle tank near the front line in an undisclosed location in the Lyman direction of the Donetsk region, on November 21, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. AFP

 

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

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

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 defense shot down 66 air targets over the capital and surrounding region throughout the morning.

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

The assault on Kyiv began at 4 a.m. local time, continuing in waves for over six hours, and caused power outages in 77 residential buildings and 120 institutions, according to 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.

“Our soldiers shot down most of the drones. Unfortunately, not all,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on Telegram. “But we continue to work to strengthen our air defense and shoot down more,” he said.

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

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.

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