Russia unleashes largest drone attack on Ukraine since war began

Ukraine’s military said that Russia has launched its most intense drone attack since the beginning of the war in 2022, and has targeted the capital city for over six hours.

Kyiv was the main target in the attack, Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk wrote online.

Russia launched 75 Iranian-made drones against Ukraine in total, according to The Associated Press, 74 of which Ukraine’s air force said their air defenses destroyed. A Ukrainian air force spokesman later confirmed to The AP that air defenses shot down 66 air targets in the regions surrounding Kyiv.

Kyiv city administration Serhii Popko said the Saturday morning attack was “the most massive air attack by drones on Kyiv.”

Several buildings were damaged by falling debris, including a kindergarten, and at least five civilians were wounded in the assault. An 11-year-old child was one of the wounded, according to Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko.

The assault left a crater in a courtyard of a residential area that houses many elderly people, and windows were blown out of a nearby building.

The attack began at 4 a.m. and caused power outages in 77 residential buildings and 120 institutions, The AP reported. As many as 17,000 people were without power because of the attack, Ukraine’s Energy Ministry said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that Russia had launched the drones “on the eve of the Holodomor genocide commemoration day.”

“Russia’s leadership appears to be proud of its ability to kill people,” he posted. “Our warriors shot down the majority of the drones, but not all of them.”

Zelenskyy said the country is working to strengthen their air defense to “fight against Russian terror.”

The Russian attack comes after Ukraine launched one of the biggest drone attacks on the Crimean Peninsula since the war began 21 months ago, Russian officials said.

Ukrainian officials said they escalated their attempt to storm Avdiivka, a strategically important city in eastern Ukraine, The AP reported.

The efforts come as both sides try to show they are not deadlocked heading into the winter and 2024.

The Associated Press contributed.

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