Russia conducted what experts describe as the largest drone attack in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, just before Kyiv Day, a significant holiday in the city. The attack involved numerous drones launched by Russia, targeting various locations in Kyiv. Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko confirmed that a man died when drone wreckage fell near a petrol station, while a woman sustained injuries in the attack.
According to Ukraine’s Air Force, Russia launched a record 54 kamikaze drones, with Ukrainian forces successfully shooting down 52 of them. Specifically in Kyiv, officials downed more than 40 drones. These attacks are part of Russia’s intensified efforts to overwhelm Kyiv’s defenses following its full-scale invasion in February 2022.
Before the drone attack, authorities activated air raid alerts in 12 regions across Ukraine. Mayor Klitschko urged Kyiv residents to seek shelter, anticipating waves of drone attacks during what was expected to be a challenging night. Reports emerged of high-rise buildings catching fire and warehouses ablaze due to falling drone fragments.
Some officials accused Russia of deliberately targeting Kyiv ahead of the city’s celebration of Kyiv Day, which commemorates the city’s founding 1500 years ago and is traditionally a joyous occasion. There were also reports of explosions in the city of Zhytomyr, located west of Kyiv.
Although the information provided has not been independently verified, the drone attack on Kyiv highlights the escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine. It underscores Russia’s ongoing aggressive actions, which pose a significant threat to the security and well-being of the Ukrainian capital. Kyiv Day, typically marked by live concerts, street fairs, exhibitions, and fireworks, witnessed scaled-back festivities this year due to the attack. Ukrainian officials believe that the timing of the drone attacks was not coincidental, suggesting that Russia intended to disrupt the celebrations.