Emergency services extinguish a fire after a drone attack in Kyiv on May 28. Photo: PAVLO PETROV/AFP
Vladimir Zelensky praised the air of Ukraine's defense forces after Russia unleashed its biggest wave of drone attacks on Kiev since the start of the war.
During the latest bombardment in Kiev and 12 other regions Ukraine heard explosions and air raid sirens. At least one person has died and a series of fires have started.
The Ukrainian General Staff said air defenses shot down 58 of 59 Iranian suicide drones launched by Moscow early Sunday morning. in what authorities called a record-breaking Shahed weapon attack.
“Another night attack was directed by the enemy at military installations and state critical infrastructure facilities in the central regions of the country, in particular in the Kyiv region,” the message says in the Telegram messenger.
More than 40 of these drones were shot down over Kiev, according to the city military administration, using powerful searchlights that combed the sky to find those that evaded radar detection.
A destroyed building in Kyiv after a drone attack on May 28. Photo: Anadolu/Anadolu
"Every time you shoot down enemy drones and missiles, you save lives… you are heroes!" Zelensky stated this in an appeal to the air defense forces in the Telegram messenger.
This was the first fatal blow to the capital in May. The mayor of the city, Vitali Klitschko, said that a 41-year-old man was killed and three were injured as a result of the fall of the wreckage of a downed drone at a gas station in the Goloseevsky district in the south-west of the capital.
Other fallen fragments started a fire in a three-story warehouse, destroying about 1,000 square meters of buildings, he added.
Another fire broke out in the western district of Solomenskoye, a busy railway and air hub, when debris hit a seven-story non-residential building.< /p>
The roof of a nine-story building caught fire in the Pechersk district, and a store was damaged in the Darnytskyi district, officials said.< /p>One of the buildings damaged as a result of the shelling of Kyiv on May 28 by drones. Photo: SERGEY SUPINSKY/AFP
The pre-dawn attack was carried out in several stages, said the head of the Kyiv military administration, Sergei Popko. while the air raid lasted more than five hours.
With the long-awaited Ukrainian counter-offensive approaching, Russia stepped up its air strikes.
Although some strikes on military installations and supply facilities hubs, missiles and drones also often hit densely populated areas.
Attacks often involve multiple drones or missiles, likely in an attempt to suppress Ukrainian air defense systems.
However, fatalities are rare. A complex network of air defense systems, such as the US-made Patriot and Nasams, protect the sky over the capital and other key cities.
drone over Kiev on May 28. Photo: GLEB GARANICH/Reuters
These systems have given officials in Kiev a growing sense that Moscow is simply wasting its arsenal of long-range precision weapons in doing so.
Some officials have accused Russia of the latest attack being deliberately carried out as residents. prepared for the celebration of the Day of Kyiv – the anniversary of the founding of the city more than 1500 years ago.
"The history of Ukraine is a long-standing irritant for insecure Russians,&# 34; Andriy Yermak, head of Zelensky's administration, wrote about this on Telegram.
"The enemy decided to “congratulate”. the people of Kiev on the Day of Kyiv with the help of their deadly UAVs & # 34; Popko said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Western countries were “playing with fire” by agreeing to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets, calling the move an “unacceptable escalation” of the conflict. conflict.
In an interview with Russian television, Mr. Lavrov said: “This is without a doubt playing with fire.”
Mr. Lavrov denounced the move as an attempt to “weaken Russia” “Washington, London and their satellites in the EU.”