June 13, 2024

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Russia launches largest drone attack since start of Ukraine war

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Russia launched its largest drone attack of the war in the early hours of Saturday morning, targeting Kyiv in what Ukrainian officials fear is the start of a winter campaign aimed at destroying the country’s energy infrastructure.

Kyiv city authorities said five people were wounded while Ukraine’s energy ministry reported nearly 200 buildings, including 77 residential ones, were left without power as a result of the barrage.

Saturday’s attack began about 2.30am local time and lasted more than six hours, with Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones coming in waves and changing course during flight to confuse and evade defences, according to Ukraine’s air force.

Many of Kyiv’s more than 3mn residents awoke to wailing air raid sirens and push alerts on their phones urging them to seek shelter. The buzzing of the low-flying drones and staccato bark of air defence guns shooting at them was punctuated by loud explosions shortly before sunrise.

The air force reported downing 74 of 75 drones in the regions of Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, Kirovohrad and Kyiv. Yuriy Ihnat, an air force spokesperson, said that 66 drones were downed over the capital and the surrounding region.

He added that waves of drones launched from the south-east “circled” Kyiv as they waited for drones that took off from the western Russian city of Kursk to approach the capital and attack it simultaneously.

A Kh-59 cruise missile was also destroyed in Dnipropetrovsk region, said Mykola Oleschuk, the commander of the Ukrainian an air force. He said that Ukraine’s “mobile fire” air defence forces, typically consisting of western-supplied ground-to-air missile systems mounted on US Humvees or pick-up trucks accounted for “almost 40 per cent” of the missiles and drones shot down.

Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, said that debris from downed drones had…



2023-11-25 07:53:40

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