Ukrainian forces say Russia has bombed Kyiv with 43 drones and 37 have been shot down
Kyiv today recorded several explosions in what have been kamikaze drone attacks by Russia, according to the Office of the President of Ukraine. “Explosions in Kyiv. The capital was attacked with kamikaze drones,” said Andriy Yermak , head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, in his Telegram account. The mayor of Kyiv, Vitaliy Klitschko , reported at least two explosions in the Shevchenkivskyi neighborhood, in the center of the capital. As a result of the bombing, at least four people have died and three others have been injured, the mayor reported.
“Iran is directly responsible for the deaths of Ukrainians.” This is how the advisor to the President of Ukraine, Mykhailo Podoliak, reacted to the latest wave of Russian attacks, which used dozens of Iranian suicide drones. At least four people, including a pregnant woman, were killed in Kyiv yesterday morning after a residential building in the city center was destroyed. Twenty people were rescued from the rubble, but a 33-year-old woman in her sixth month of pregnancy was found dead along with her husband.
Video from the moment kamikaze drone hit building in central Kyiv. It is clearly seen that attack happened when emergency services were on the scene. It is reported 18 people were rescued, one body found under the rubble, rescue works continue.
At least 28 drones targeted the Ukrainian capital, according to its mayor Vitali Klitschko , who said “most of them” were shot down by air defense. Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat reported that at least 43 drones have been launched at targets in the country from the south, of which 37 were shot down before reaching their targets. The «Shahed-136» drones are very noisy and relatively slow, but not easy to detect in time by radars. Their use in large groups means that not all of them can be shot down in time while Ukraine still lacks air defenses to protect itself.
Aside from the residential building, the headquarters of the electricity transmission company “Ukrenergo” appeared to be the target, while a woman was also hospitalized after suffering acoustic trauma while riding in a taxi near the train station.
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmygal revealed that “critical energy infrastructure targets” were attacked in Kyiv and two other regions, Dnipropetrovsk in central Ukraine and Sumy in northern Ukraine. Explosions have also been reported in the Odessa, Khmelnytskyi and Vinnytsia regions.
Shmygal warned that “hundreds of towns” were left without power. The risk of forced power outages in others was high as repair crews tried to restore electricity transmission routes. Shmygal urged Ukrainians to reduce their electricity consumption, especially during morning and evening peak hours. According to the Ukrainian president, Volodomir Zelensky, consumption has fallen by 10% in the last week, which is still not enough.
His wife, First Lady Olena Zelenska, reiterated that “kamikaze drones are at war against civilians and critical infrastructure” and assured that Ukraine would not give in to Russia’s “hysterical terror”. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has urged the EU to introduce sanctions against Iran over deliveries of suicide drones to Russia while Tehran has rejected claims it supplies arms to Moscow.
While Putin frightens Kyiv with drones, he is also militarily reinforcing the Belarusian border.
REINFORCEMENT IN BELARUS
Its authorities reported yesterday that up to 9,000 Russian soldiers are expected to arrive in the country to form the “joint regional military group.” They also announced the arrival of up to 170 tanks, 200 armored combat vehicles and more than 100 artillery systems and mine launchers with a caliber greater than 100 mm.
According to the Belarusian authorities, the decision was caused “by activities near the country’s borders.” Belarus also announced that part of its firefighters have received combat weapons “to be ready to fight alongside the Army.”
Although its troops have not officially taken part in fighting inside Ukraine, the country has been actively involved in the invasion since its inception. Large groups of Russian forces invaded Ukraine from its territory, with Belarusian bases and hospitals used to care for Russian equipment and wounded soldiers. Missiles have been fired at multiple targets in Ukraine from Belarusian airspace. Last week, the Ukrainian Army report warned that Belarus delivered the first batch of twenty T-72 tanks to the Russians in the Belgorod region. Even so, its self-proclaimed president Aleksander Lukashenko he only admitted for the first time that Belarus was taking part in Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine two weeks ago, claiming it was done “to prevent the extension of the conflict to Belarus.”
Fighters from the Belarusian Kastus Kalinowski regiment of the Ukrainian Army explained that the quality of the Belarusian Army’s training was generally very low and that it also lacked relevant experience. The attempt to draw Belarus further into the Ukraine invasion comes as Russia is looking for ways to buy time before its newly mobilized soldiers arrive on the front lines en masse. Fighting has continued along the front line, being especially heavy near Bakhmut and Soledar in Donetsk, where Russian mercenary groups “Wagner” and “League” are trying to advance despite heavy losses. Ukraine reported that it destroyed 8 Russian tanks and killed 320 Russian soldiers in the last 24 hours.
Ukrainian activists promised to award $150,000 to those who handed over Igor Girkin to Ukrainian troops. Girkin, a former Russian intelligence officer who participated in the illegal annexation of Crimea, captured the Ukrainian city of Sloviansk in 2014, sparking the war in Donbas. He is on trial in a Dutch court for the shooting down of Boeing flight MH17 from the Netherlands to Malaysia in July 2014, with 298 people on board.
He has become a popular blogger, critical of the decisions of the Russian military leadership. He is believed to have volunteered to fight in the Ukraine last week.