Kyiv weathers 'unprecedented' wave of Russian missiles

Ukraine said Thursday it had downed nearly an entire barrage of Russian missiles overnight, the latest in an "unprecedented" wave of aerial attacks on the capital Kyiv.

The defence ministry said Russian forces had launched 30 cruise missiles from land, sea and air, targeting several regions and killing one person in the southern port of Odesa and another in the northeastern region of Kharkiv.

The military said its air defence units had destroyed 29 of the cruise missiles and shot down four drones.

Russian strikes on the capital Kyiv have reached an intensity not seen since a wave of attacks started last autumn.

"A series of air attacks on Kyiv, unprecedented in their power, intensity and variety, is continuing," said Sergiy Popko, head of Kyiv's civil and military administration.

The attack follows other recent barrages in which Ukraine claimed to have downed several of Russia's much-vaunted hypersonic Kinzhal missiles.

Valery Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of Ukraine's armed forces, said that the most recent barrage included six Kalibr missiles and two Iskander-K missiles.

The United States also confirmed that one of its Patriot air defence systems supplied to Kyiv had been damaged, following claims by Russia its forces had destroyed one of the advanced systems.

- Explosions -

In the southern port city of Odesa, one person was killed and two were wounded after a missile hit industrial infrastructure, the military said.

One person died and two more were wounded as a result of a missile strike on the village of Tsyrkuny in the northeastern region of Kharkiv, governor Oleg Sinegubov said.

In Kyiv, officials reported explosions in the Desnyansky district in the northeast and said a fire had broken out at a business in the southeastern neighbourhood of Darnytskyi as a result of falling debris.

The military also reported "cruise missile" attacks in the central Vinnytsia region, while local authorities also reported explosions in Khmelnytskyi, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) further west.

The Russian defence ministry said that its forces hit "all" targets.

Moscow did not specify which targets had been hit, only saying it aimed at "large depots of foreign weapons and equipment as well as enemy reserves."

G7 leaders arrived in Hiroshima in Japan to weigh tighter sanctions on Russia, surrounded by reminders of the harrowing cost of war.

An EU official said the leaders meeting in Japan would discuss sanctioning Russia's billion-dollar trade in diamonds, hoping to further starve Moscow of funds for its war in Ukraine.

- Train derailment -

"We believe we need to limit exports from Russian trade in this sector," the official said.

Separately, a train carrying grain derailed in the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula in what Moscow-installed officials on Thursday called a deliberate act.

"Train carriages loaded with grain derailed in the Simferopol region," said Crimea head Sergei Aksyonov. The railway operator said the incident was caused by "the intervention of third parties".

Telegram channel Mash, which claims to have sources close to Russian law enforcement, said the disruption was caused by an explosive device that left a large crater.

One regional parliament member also said the incident was caused by an explosive device, without giving evidence.

Baza, another Russian Telegram outlet with police sources, distributed images of what it said was the aftermath of the incident, showing several overturned rail cars.

Earlier this month, explosive devices derailed two Russian trains in a region bordering Ukraine over consecutive days.

Crimea, annexed from Ukraine in 2014, has been hit intermittently by explosions at military facilities since Moscow ordered troops into Ukraine in February 2022.