Local officials in Ukraine's capital say Kyiv has been subjected to the largest drone attack since the start of Russia’s war as the city prepared to mark the anniversary of its founding
FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2016 file photo, Iranian drone Shahed-129 is displayed at a rally in Tehran, Iran. The White House on Monday, May 15, 2023, said that Russia is looking to buy additional advanced attack drones from Iran for use in the Kremlin's war in Ukraine after using up most of the 400 drones it had previously purchased from Tehran. “Iran also continues to provide Russia with one-way attack UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). Since August, Iran has provided Russia with more than 400 UAVs primarily of the Shahed variety,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)
The Associated Press
KYIV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's capital was subjected to the largest drone attack since the start of Russia's war, local officials said, as Kyiv prepared to mark the anniversary of its founding on Sunday. At least one person were killed.
Russia launched the “most massive attack” on the city overnight Saturday with Iranian-made Shahed drones, said Serhii Popko, a senior Kyiv military official. The attack lasted more than five hours, with air defense reportedly shooting down more than 40 drones.
A 41-year-old man was killed and a 35-year-old woman was hospitalized when debris fell on a seven-story nonresidential building and started a fire, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.
Ukraine’s air force said that Saturday night was also record-breaking in terms of Shahed drone attacks across the country. Of the 54 drones launched, 52 were shot down by air defense systems.
In the northeastern Kharkiv province, regional Gov. Oleh Syniehubov said a 61-year-old woman and a 60-year-old man were killed in two separate shelling attacks.
Kyiv Day marks the anniversary of Kyiv’s official founding. The day is usually celebrated with live concerts, street fairs, exhibitions and fireworks. Scaled-back festivities were planned for this year, the city’s 1,541st anniversary.
The timing of the drone attacks was likely not coincidental, Ukrainian officials said.
“The history of Ukraine is a long-standing irritant for the insecure Russians,” Ukraine's chief presidential aide, Andriy Yermak, said on Telegram.
“Today, the enemy decided to ‘congratulate’ the people of Kyiv on Kyiv Day with the help of their deadly UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles),” Popko also wrote on the messaging app.
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