More than 70 Russian drones hit Kyiv, wounding five: Ukrainian officials | Russia-Ukraine war News

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the attack an act of ‘wilful terror’.

At least five people were wounded after Russia fired more than 70 drones at Kyiv overnight, Ukrainian officials said, calling it the largest drone attack in the war so far.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the attack on the capital an act of “wilful terror”, writing on the Telegram app that “the Russian leadership is proud of the fact that it can kill”.

The attack, which used Iranian-designed Shahed kamikaze drones, reportedly began hitting different districts of Kyiv in the early hours of Saturday, with more waves coming as the sun rose. The air raid warning lasted for six hours.

Air force chief Mykola Oleschuk said 71 of the 75 drones launched at Ukraine had been downed.

He praised the effectiveness of “mobile fire” units – usually fast pick-up trucks with a machine gun or flak cannon mounted on their flatbed. According to Oleschuk, these downed nearly 40 percent of the drones.

Kyiv’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko, writing on Telegram, said the attack had injured five people, including an 11-year-old girl, and damaged buildings in districts all across the city.

Fragments from a downed drone had started a fire in a children’s nursery, he said.

Russia targets critical infrastructure

The target of the attack was not immediately clear, but Ukraine has warned in recent weeks that Russia will once again wage an aerial campaign to destroy Ukraine’s energy system.

Ukraine’s energy ministry said nearly 200 buildings in the capital, including 77 residential ones, had been left without power as a result of the attack.

Ukraine’s air force said the raid was Russia’s largest drone attack since the beginning of the war in February 2022.

Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride, reporting from Kyiv, said Russian forces are trying to destroy critical infrastructure in Ukraine ahead of winter.

“That is the concern for residents here in Kyiv and other cities as Russia targets important infrastructure and power supply as they did last year,” he said.

Kyiv has also ramped up drone and missile attacks on Russian military installations in eastern Ukraine and in and around the Crimean peninsula as it presses a counteroffensive it launched in June.

Russian missile defences were reported to have downed 13 Ukrainian drones over Crimea and three more over the Volgograd region in the early hours of Friday, local media said, citing Russia’s defence ministry.

Zelenskyy said on Friday that Ukraine needed to secure three key “victories” abroad, including the approval of extensive aid packages from the United States Congress and the European Union, and a formal start of accession talks to join the European Union.

Twenty months into Russia’s full-scale invasion, fatigue has crept into the West’s relations with Kyiv, which heavily relies on its allies for military, economic and humanitarian aid to battle against the Kremlin’s troops.

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