Four Dead as Russia Hits Kyiv With Iranian-made Kamikaze Drones

Waves of explosive-laden suicide drones struck Ukraine’s capital as families were preparing to start their week early Monday, the blasts echoing across Kyiv, setting buildings ablaze and sending people scurrying to shelters.

The capital’s central Shevchenko district was among the areas hit, with apartment blocks damaged and a non-residential building on fire, Kyiv city mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

Four people, including a woman who was six months pregnant and her partner, were killed when a “kamikaze” drone hit a block of flats on the edge of Kyiv’s central Shevchenkivskyi district, the mayor said. 18 people were rescued from the rubble of one apartment building and that rescue workers were trying to extract two other people known to be under the debris.The drones’ intended targets weren’t immediately clear but Russian strikes over the past week have hit infrastructure, including power facilities.

“The whole night, and the whole morning, the enemy terrorizes the civilian population,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a social media post. “Kamikaze drones and missiles are attacking all of Ukraine.”

“The enemy can attack our cities, but it won’t be able to break us,” he wrote.

Social media video posts showed drones buzzing over the capital and smoke billowing in the early morning light. The sound of sustained gunfire could also be heard in one post, seemingly trying to shoot a drone down.

According to a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force, Ukraine has destroyed between 85 and 86 percent of Russian drones used in strikes since Sunday night.

Five drones plunged into Kyiv itself, said Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. In the Kyiv region, at least 13 were shot down, all flying in from the south, said Yurii Ihnat, a spokesman for Ukraine’s air force.

The explosions came from the same central Kyiv district where a week ago a missile struck a children’s playground and intersection near the Kyiv National University’s main buildings.

Russian forces struck Kyiv with Iranian Shahed drones, wrote Andrii Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian president’s office, in a post on the Telegram social media site. However,

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson denied the claims on Monday that his country provided Russia with drones.

Russia has repeatedly been using the so-called “kamikaze drones” in recent weeks to target urban centers and infrastructure, including power stations.
A large fire broke out at an energy complex overnight as a result of another Russian missile attack on the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine, a local official reported on Monday.

Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was disconnected from the national power grid on Monday following Russian shelling, prompting backup diesel generators to kick in, state nuclear energy firm Energoatom said.

“Russian terrorists once again shelled critical infrastructure substations in Ukraine-controlled territory, resulting in the shutdown of the last 750 kV ZNPP-Dniprovska communications line at 03:59,” it said in a statement.

Russian forces have occupied the plant in southern Ukraine, Europe’s largest, since shortly after invading Ukraine nearly eight months ago but it is operated by Ukrainian staff.

The strike on Kyiv comes as fighting has intensified in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in recent days, as well as the continued Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south near Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

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