Russia launches ‘largest drone attack’ on Ukraine's Kyiv

Web Desk
May 28, 2023

Attacks come on last Sunday of May when capital celebrates Kyiv Day, anniversary of its official founding 1,541 years ago

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Rescuers work at a site of a building damaged during a Russian suicide drone strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 28, 2023. — Reuters

KYIV: Russia launched on Sunday its largest drone attack on Ukraine's capital Kyiv since the start of the war which left two people dead and three injured as the city prepared to mark the anniversary of its founding.

Ukraine'sAir Force said that it shot down 52 out of the 54Iranian-made drones. However, it was unclear the number of drones that were unleashed over Kyiv.

According to the authorities, two were killed and three were wounded after the debris of the shot-down drones fell in several districts.

The pre-dawn attacks came on the last Sunday of May when the capital celebrates Kyiv Day, the anniversary of its official founding 1,541 years ago. The day is typically marked by street fairs, live concerts and special museum exhibitions - plans for which have been made this year too, but on a smaller scale.

"The history of Ukraine is a long-standing irritant for the insecure Russians," Andriy Yermak, the head of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's office, said on his Telegram channel.

Air Force said on Telegram that Russia had targeted military and critical infrastructure facilities in the central regions of Ukraine, and the Kyiv region in particular.

A firefighter works at a site of a tobacco factory damaged during a Russian drone strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 28, 2023. — Reuters

Reuters was unable to independently verify the information.

With a Ukrainian counteroffensive looming 15 months into the war, Moscow has intensified air strikes after a lull of nearly two months, targeting chiefly military site and supplies. Waves of attacks now come several times a week.

The Sunday attacks came after Kyiv said that combat clashes eased around the besieged city of Bakhmut in southeastern Ukraine, the site of the war's longest battle.

Serhiy Popko, the head of Kyiv's military administration, said the attack was carried out in several waves, and air alerts lasted more than five hours.

"Today, the enemy decided to 'congratulate' the people of Kyiv on Kyiv Day with the help of their deadly UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles)," Popko said on the Telegram messaging channel.

Several districts of Kyiv, by far the largest Ukrainian city with a population of around 3 million, suffered in the overnight attacks, officials said, including the historical Pecherskyi neighbourhood.

Reuters witnesses said that during the air raid alerts that started soon after midnight, many people stood on their balconies, some screaming offensives directed at Russia's President Vladimir Putin and "Glory to air defence" slogans.

In the leafy Holosiivskyi district in the southwestern part of Kyiv, falling debris set a three-storey warehouse on fire, destroying about 1,000 square metres (10,800 square feet) of building structures, Mayor Klitschko said.

A fire broke out after falling drone debris hit a seven-storey non-residential building in the Solomyanskyi district west of the city. The district is a busy rail and air transport hub.

In the Pecherskyi district, a fire broke out on the roof of a nine-storey building due to falling drone debris, and in the Darnytskyi district a shop was damaged, Kyiv's military administration officials said on Telegram.

— Additional input from Reuters.

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