Russia attacks Kyiv with ballistic missiles, four wounded - Ukraine

By Valentyn Ogirenko and Pavel Polityuk

KYIV (Reuters) - Russia attacked the Ukrainian capital with eight long-range ballistic missiles before dawn on Monday and four people were wounded by debris after air defences shot down the incoming salvo, officials said.

The strike at around 4 a.m. (0200 GMT) marked the first major attack on Kyiv in recent months using ballistic missiles, which travel faster than drones and cruise missiles and are harder to shoot down.

Reuters reporters heard the sound of explosions in the capital as air defences engaged the missiles before the air raid siren had sounded and most people were asleep.

Four people were hurt by shards of shattered glass in the Darnitskyi district, in southeastern Kyiv, and needed medical assistance, the national police said in a statement.

Firefighters dispatched to the southwestern Holosiivskyi district put out a fire that broke out when part of a missile landed on the roof of a residential building, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram messenger.

Air strikes have become almost nightly occurrences in recent weeks, although most Russian attacks have used slow-moving Iranian-made Shahed drones, which Ukrainians nickname "mopeds" because of the whirring sound of their engines.

Ukrainian civilians fear that Russia plans to target the energy system with air strikes for a second year in a row as winter takes hold and energy consumption surges because of the cold weather.

In a separate overnight attack, Ukrainian air defences shot down 18 Shahed drones in the south.

Russia made no immediate comment on the attacks.

(Reporting by Valentyn Ogirenko, Pavel Polityuk, Olena Harmash in Kyiv and Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Alex Richardson)