Kyiv targeted for the first time in months as Russia launches large-scale attack

Kyiv, Ukraine - A missile targeted Kyiv on Saturday, ending nearly two months of relative calm in the Ukrainian capital, while frontline regions fended off waves of drone attacks overnight.

Kyiv on Saturday was targeted by a Russian missile attack for the first time in months, but air defenses prevented damage or casualites.
Kyiv on Saturday was targeted by a Russian missile attack for the first time in months, but air defenses prevented damage or casualites.  © REUTERS

Ukraine is bracing for a renewed Russian aerial onslaught this winter, after systematic strikes last year targeted the country's energy grid, leaving thousands without heating or electricity in freezing temperatures for long periods.

"After a long pause of 52 days, the enemy renewed missile attacks on Kyiv," said the head of the Kyiv city military administration Sergiy Popko.

He added that the Russians had launched a missile attack on the capital on Saturday morning.

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AFP journalists in central Kyiv heard two strong explosions and saw trails in the sky at dawn. Air sirens sounded soon after that.

Asked why the alarm had gone off after the explosion, air force spokesman Yuriy Ignat said on television that "ballistic missiles fly extremely fast and are not as visible as cruise missiles on the radars."

The air force said it was clarifying whether the capital had been targeted by an Iskander ballistic missile, or by an S-400 anti-aircraft missile.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday that Ukraine had deployed more Western air defense systems, as it braces for a second full winter of Russian attacks on energy facilities.

Russia steps up attacks all over Ukraine

Kyiv residents sheltered in the city's subway as air sirens rang out after Russia's assault.
Kyiv residents sheltered in the city's subway as air sirens rang out after Russia's assault.  © REUTERS

Air defenses last downed a missile in Kyiv on September 21. The falling debris wounded seven people, including a child.

There were no reported casualties or damage in the capital itself on Saturday.

But two missiles hit a field between two settlements in the wider Kyiv region, the head of the regional military administration said.

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"The blast wave damaged five private residential buildings. In particular, roofs and windows were smashed," Ruslan Kravchenko said.

Other regions of Ukraine meanwhile fended off drone attacks overnight.

The air force said it downed 19 of the 31 attack drones launched by Moscow between Friday evening and early Saturday morning.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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