In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Emergency Situations Ministry, firefighters put out fire caused by fragments of a Russian rocket after it was shot down by air defense system during the night Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, early hours Tuesday, May 16, 2023. AP
Russia's latest attack on Kyiv was “exceptional in its density — the maximum number of attacking missiles in the shortest period of time,” said Serhii Popko, the head of the Kyiv military administration.
It is the eighth time this month that Russian air raids have targeted the capital, a clear escalation after weeks of lull and ahead of a much-anticipated Ukrainian counter-offensive. It also comes as President Volodymyr Zelenksyy concludes a whirlwind European tour to greet Ukraine's key wartime allies, which spurred an additional tranche of pledged military aid.
“According to preliminary information the vast majority of enemy targets in the airspace of Kyiv were detected and destroyed,” said Popko.
Ukraine's Air Force said 18 missiles of various types were launched, including drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. All were intercepted and shot down, said Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat.
Six “Kinzhal” aero-ballistic missiles were launched from MiG-31K aircraft, nine cruise missiles from ships in the Black Sea and three land-based S-400 cruise missiles targeted the capital, said Ihnat in a statement on Telegram.
After the first onslaught, Russia also launched Iranian-made Shahed attack drones and conducted aerial reconnaissance, Ihnat said.
Debris fell across several districts in the capital. In the Solomyansky district, causing a fire in a non-residential building. The fire was extinguished.
Debris set cars on fire and fell on the grounds of a zoo, but no losses were reported, said Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko.