In a devastating act of aggression, Russia has unleashed a massive drone attack on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
According to Kyiv’s mayor, Vitaliy Klitschko, a man tragically lost his life when debris from a downed drone fell near a petrol station, while a woman sustained injuries.
Ukraine’s Air Force has reported that a staggering 54 kamikaze drones were launched by Russia, with 52 of them being successfully intercepted and shot down.
Since its full-scale invasion began in February 2022, Russia has intensified its assaults on Kyiv in an attempt to overwhelm the capital’s defenses.
Multiple high-rise buildings in different districts of Kyiv were engulfed in flames after being struck by falling drone fragments.
Officials in Kyiv also confirmed that warehouses in the southern Holosiyivsky district had been set ablaze.
Ukrainian authorities claimed that over 40 drones were downed over the capital during the night, although independent verification of this information is pending.
President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his admiration for the air defense and rescue services, acknowledging their heroism in protecting lives. He commended their efforts, stating, “Every time you shoot down enemy drones and missiles, lives are saved… you are heroes!”
Anastasiia, a resident of Kyiv, recounted her harrowing experience, revealing that she was awakened by the sound of a drone flying perilously close to her window. She described a blinding flash of light and deafening explosions that followed. Despite the terrifying ordeal, she expressed gratitude for still being alive and highlighted the importance of cherishing every moment.
Some officials have accused Russia of deliberately targeting Kyiv as the city prepared to celebrate Kyiv Day, an annual commemoration of the city’s foundation over 1,500 years ago—a popular holiday prior to the conflict.
Earlier on Sunday, air raid alerts were activated in 12 regions of Ukraine, from Volyn in the northwest to Dnipropetrovsk in the southeast. Reports of explosions in the city of Zhytomyr, located west of Kyiv, have also emerged.
Russia has been employing kamikaze drones, as well as a variety of cruise and ballistic missiles, in its recent attacks. The frequency of these assaults on Kyiv and other locations has surged as Ukraine intensifies preparations for a counter-offensive.
Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s powerful National Security and Defense Council, confirmed that the country is ready to initiate such an operation, with troops trained and military equipment received from Western allies. The assault to reclaim territory from President Vladimir Putin’s occupying forces could commence in the coming days or weeks, according to Danilov.
In the occupied regions of southeastern Ukraine, Russian forces have been fortifying their defenses while both sides engage in escalating drone attacks. Russia’s targets extend beyond Ukraine’s critical national infrastructure to include military installations, with an apparent focus on depleting air defense missile stockpiles and damaging launch systems.
Conversely, Ukraine has been directing its strikes at strategic sites within the regions occupied by Russian forces, aiming for command and control centers and disrupting logistical supply lines, including oil storage facilities. The military exchanges between both sides have intensified in anticipation of Ukraine’s highly anticipated counter-offensive.
Russia’s ambassador to the UK, Andrei Kelin, warned of the escalating risks if weapons continue to be supplied to Ukraine, cautioning against an unwelcome and unnecessary escalation of the conflict. He emphasized Russia’s substantial resources and the potential for a dangerous new dimension to the conflict if it were to further intensify.