Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, recently experienced the most extensive drone assault since the commencement of Russia’s conflict, local officials reported. The attack, which coincided with the celebration of Kyiv’s founding anniversary, resulted in at least one fatality.
Senior Kyiv military official, Serhii Popko, confirmed that Russia initiated an intense attack on the city utilizing Iranian-manufactured Shahed drones. Lasting over five hours, the attack saw over 40 drones shot down by air defense.
A male civilian, aged 41, was killed and a 35-year-old woman hospitalized when debris from a destroyed drone sparked a fire in a seven-story non-residential building, according to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko.
The Ukrainian Society of the Blind’s building was damaged by drone debris. Volodymyr Golubenko, a longtime member of the organization, and his son, Mykola, navigated the ruins to salvage personal belongings.
Golubenko, a 40-year veteran at the place, highlighted the organization’s importance as a support network for the blind. He expressed concerns about the hardships the current war events bring, particularly in terms of employment.
The ominous hum of Shahed drones was a new and terrifying experience for many residents, including a woman named Yana and her three sons, who took refuge in a hallway during the night-long onslaught.
Ukraine’s air force noted that Saturday night marked a record in nationwide Shahed drone attacks, with 52 of the 54 launched drones being shot down.
In the Kharkiv province to the northeast, two seniors were killed in separate shelling attacks, local authorities reported.
Amidst the drone attack, Russia’s envoy to the U.K., Andrei Kelin, warned of an escalation in the conflict. He highlighted Russia’s vast resources, hinting at a potential “serious” action and pointing to the risk posed by Western arms supplies to Ukraine.
Meanwhile, reports surfaced of attacks on Russia’s southern regions, including drone strikes near an oil refinery in Krasnodar. Ukraine’s advanced Western-backed air defenses have successfully thwarted several Russian aerial attacks, including a significant assault on Kyiv earlier in May involving advanced Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missiles.
In spite of Saturday’s drone assault, the city of Kyiv has avoided the level of destruction seen in other regions, primarily due to the deployment of sophisticated Western air defense systems.
In other news, the death toll from a missile attack on Dnipro, a central Ukrainian city, rose to four on Sunday. The attack, which damaged a building housing psychology and veterinary clinics, also left 32 people, including two children, wounded.