Ukrainian capital targeted as Moscow launches drone attacks from Moscow


Russian forces have launched a series of drone attacks on Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, in the early hours of Sunday, marking the first such assault in nearly two weeks. Ukrainian officials confirmed the air raids, which triggered air-raid alarms at approximately 2:30 a.m. and were followed by reported explosions. Serhiy Popko, the head of Kyiv’s military administration, stated on the Telegram messaging app that the city’s air defenses successfully destroyed all the drones in the airspace. These Iranian-made attack drones were deployed by Russian forces, the first instance of their use in Kyiv for 12 days.

Fortunately, no casualties were reported, but debris from the downed drones caused damage to three homes in the Kyiv region, with one resident suffering a leg injury. The Ukrainian Air Force revealed that a total of eight Shahed-136 attack drones and three cruise missiles, all of which were Iranian-made, were launched by Russia against various targets across the country. However, Ukrainian defenses managed to neutralize all incoming threats.

This incident follows a pattern of Russian overnight drone attacks on Kyiv since the full-scale invasion began in February 2022. Ukraine’s air-defense network has displayed increasing proficiency in intercepting such attacks, successfully shooting down the majority of the drones.

Simultaneously, heavy fighting has been reported on the front lines in eastern Ukraine, where Kyiv’s forces are engaged in a strenuous counteroffensive to reclaim territories seized by Russia. Additionally, intense combat was observed near the Antonovsky Bridge in the southern region of Kherson, with Ukrainian military spokesperson Natalia Humeniuk describing it as primarily focused on targeting Russian firing positions. Russian forces previously withdrew from Kherson in November, relocating to small towns and marshy areas along the river’s eastern bank, from where they have been persistently shelling Kherson and nearby towns.

According to the Ukrainian regional military administration for Kherson, Russia launched 86 strikes on the city within the past day, resulting in five casualties, including three children. However, these claims could not be independently verified.

Military analysts have noted a recent escalation of fighting near the Antonovsky Bridge, which used to serve as a crucial transport link from Kherson across the Dnipro River until it was destroyed by retreating Russian forces. Russian military bloggers have suggested that Ukrainian troops may be attempting to gain a foothold on the river’s east bank. The UK’s defense intelligence agency confirmed on Saturday that Ukrainian forces had likely been deploying personnel to the east bank. Russia’s Defense Ministry also claimed to have “neutralized” a group of Ukrainian soldiers attempting to land boats on a river island. Although these assertions could not be independently verified, local residents and Russian military bloggers have reported sightings of Ukrainian soldiers in boats around the bridge, indicating a potential expansion of Kyiv’s counteroffensive in the form of capturing river islands and swampy banks near Kherson.

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