Ukraine bombarded in "most serious drone attack" by Russia

Kyiv, Ukraine - The Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, came under heavy Russian drone attacks overnight, leaving five injured, the city's mayor reported on Saturday.

Ukrainian police and military experts collect fragments of downed Russian drone near a crater in a yard amid residential buildings in Kyiv on November 25, 2023.
Ukrainian police and military experts collect fragments of downed Russian drone near a crater in a yard amid residential buildings in Kyiv on November 25, 2023.  © Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP

Mayor Vitali Klitschko called the air raid, which lasted a total of six hours, the "most serious drone attack" on the Ukrainian capital since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Among those injured in the attack was an 11-year-old child, Klitschko said.

Klitschko reported that debris from drones shot down by Ukrainian air defenses had crashed in the city. As a result, fires had broken out in several places, including a residential building and a kindergarten.

Joke of the Night for February 22, 2024: Get your nightly funny on
Joke of the Day Joke of the Night for February 22, 2024: Get your nightly funny on

Russian forces attacked Ukraine with a total of 75 combat drones, the Ukrainian air force reported. Air defenses succeeded in shooting down 74 of them. A DPA reporter observed heavy, prolonged anti-aircraft fire.

In addition to Kyiv, air alerts were also sounded in the Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, and Mykolaiv regions. A high-rise building on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River caught fire due to falling debris, according to the military administration in Kyiv.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commemorated on Saturday the victims of the great famine of 1932-1933 that killed millions of Ukrainians.

He said it was "extremely important" to remember the famine, known as the Holodomor, as a "genocide" perpetrated by the Russian-dominated Soviet Union under Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

Ukraine honors Holodomor Remembrance Day amid Russian invasion

Saturday marked Holodomor Remembrance Day in Ukraine, which honors the victims of the great famine of 1932-1933.
Saturday marked Holodomor Remembrance Day in Ukraine, which honors the victims of the great famine of 1932-1933.  © ROMAN PILIPEY / AFP

"They tried to exterminate us, to subjugate us, to torture us. They failed. They wanted to conceal the truth from us and hush up the terrible crimes forever. They failed," Zelensky said during a speech.

Holodomor means "murder by starvation." Saturday was Holodomor Remembrance Day.

"And today, with utmost sorrow and respect, we honor the memory of millions of our people," he said.

Today's horoscope: Free daily horoscope for Friday, February 23, 2024
Daily Horoscope Today's horoscope: Free daily horoscope for Friday, February 23, 2024

Zelensky drew a connection between the mass famine and Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which includes attacks on infrastructure and grain exports.

"This is a process where the line of totalitarian Soviet policy and the line of modern Russian policy form the equal sign together. Evil was not stopped. Was not atoned for. And now we are stopping it," Zelensky said.

In Brussels, the European Commission said on Saturday it plans to provide €50 million ($54 million) to Kyiv to repair and upgrade infrastructure in Ukrainian ports in an attempt to increase food exports.

The announcement came as Kyiv held an international summit on food security. Ukraine is one of the world's largest grain exporters.

"Improved port capacities will speed up exports of food and other goods which Ukraine supplies to global markets," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote in a letter to the Ukrainian president. "Over time, our investment should allow Ukraine's ports to return to export quantities that were in place before the war."

The war in Ukraine includes a Russian naval blockade of Ukraine's Black Sea ports. Kyiv has been struggling to bring its grain products to markets. Harbor infrastructure that is key to exports has also been repeatedly attacked by Russia.

Cover photo: Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP

More on Ukraine conflict: