Ukraine shoots down 35 drones over Kyiv as Russia launches fresh wave of strikes

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An explosion is seen in Kyiv during a Russian drone strike  (REUTERS)
An explosion is seen in Kyiv during a Russian drone strike (REUTERS)

Ukraine air defences shot down 35 Iranian-made drones over Kyiv on Monday night as Russia conducted massive overnight drone and missile strikes on the country.

Three civilians were killed as the Kremlin’s forces launched a wave of attacks on the capital and other cities.

Air raid alarms sounded for more than three hours during the night, with Ukrainian military bloggers saying they could have been triggered by a Russian warplane armed with Moscow's Kinzhal hypersonic weapons taking off.

Reuters said it was unable to independently verify that assertion.

Drone wreckage struck a two-storey apartment building in Kyiv's western Svyatoshynskyi district, while other debris struck a car parked nearby, setting it on fire, Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a Telegram post.

Russian shelling of 127 targets across northern, southern and eastern parts of Ukraine killed three civilians, the Ukrainian Defence Ministry said.

Attacks involved tanks, drones, mortars, warplanes, multiple rocket launchers and surface-to-air missiles.

Long-range bombers also launched up to eight cruise missiles at Ukraine's southern Odesa region, authorities said.

The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said Moscow had launched 16 missile strikes on cities and regions including Kharkiv, Kherson, Nikolaev and Odessa. It also reported 52 instances of enemy shelling.

An apartment building was damaged by remains of a drone shot down during an overnight strike in Kyiv (REUTERS)
An apartment building was damaged by remains of a drone shot down during an overnight strike in Kyiv (REUTERS)

A spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, there are killed and wounded among civilians, damaged high-rise building, private residences and other civilian infrastructures.

“The probability of further Russian missile and air strikes across Ukraine remains high.”

At least five people were wounded in Kyiv amid damage to a fuel depot, cars, buildings and infrastructure, the city’s mayor said.

Ukraine said it had destroyed all 35 Iranian-made Shahed drones Russia had launched.

Speaking to the nation to mark the anniversary of the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Kremlin was pursuing “enslavement and destruction”.

“We are returning to our state an honest history without ideological influences. It is on 8 May that most nations of the world remember the greatness of the victory over the Nazis,” he said in a video posted on Telegram.

Mr Zelensky said Europe could not let Mr Putin secure victory and that it was again time to defeat “evil” together “to ensure that no one ever enslaves other peoples or destroys other countries again”.

Separately, Moscow is preparing for Tuesday's Victory Day parade - the most important day in the calendar for Russia under Mr Putin.

But Russia has cancelled or curtailed some of the huge military parades that normally accompany Victory Day, in part due to security concerns and in part because Moscow has lost a lot of military hardware during its winter offensive in Ukraine.