On Saturday, Russia initiated its most extensive drone assault on Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, since the commencement of the invasion, as per statements from local authorities.
Ukraine’s Air Force, in a Telegram announcement regarding the drone assault on Kyiv, revealed that almost 75 Shahed drones were deployed from two directions – Primorsko-Akhtarsk and the Kursk region in Russia. The primary focus of the attack was Kyiv, with the Air Force characterizing it as an unprecedented number of drones.
The statement indicated that Ukrainian air defences successfully thwarted 71 of the Iranian-manufactured drones across six Ukrainian regions. Most interceptions took place in the Kyiv region.
Ukrainian authorities reported that the drones approached Kyiv from two distinct directions, to overwhelm the city’s air defenses.
At approximately 2:30 am, residents of Kyiv were awakened by an air raid siren, followed by several waves of attacks. The sound of loud booms started around 4 am and persisted in the city centre until about 6 am.
During the prolonged attack, at least five civilians sustained injuries, with various buildings, including a kindergarten, damaged by falling debris from downed drones. Among the wounded was an 11-year-old child, as reported by Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko.
In the Solomiansky district of the city, the impact of debris created a crater in a residential area’s courtyard, shattering windows in a nearby building. The affected residents, predominantly elderly individuals, received on-site medical attention, while others sought refuge in a nearby subway station. As the community worked to clear debris and broken glass from the area, the sound of a new wave of drones could be heard nearby.
In response to the damage, residents promptly took measures to seal broken windows using tape and paper to mitigate the impact of the late November cold winds. In recent days, Kyiv experienced its first significant snowfall of the winter. Despite temperatures rising above zero over the weekend, colder weather is expected in the coming days and weeks.
The assault occurred on the morning of Holodomor Memorial Day, which observes the man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine responsible for the deaths of millions of Ukrainians from 1932 to 1933. This Memorial Day is recognized on the fourth Saturday in November.
Apart from Kyiv, the regions of Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, and Kirovohrad were also subjected to the attack.
Simultaneously, shelling in the southern Kherson region resulted in one fatality and three injuries, as reported by regional Governor Oleksandr Prokudin on Saturday. Prokudin noted that the region had experienced shelling on 100 occasions in the preceding 24 hours.