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Ukrainian police inspect the grounds of a kindergarten that was damaged in Russia’s drone attack. Kyiv, Ukraine.  November 25, 2023.

‘Deliberate terror’ Russia launches what Kyiv authorities call ‘most massive’ drone attack since beginning of war on Ukraine

Source: Meduza
Ukrainian police inspect the grounds of a kindergarten that was damaged in Russia’s drone attack. Kyiv, Ukraine.  November 25, 2023.
Ukrainian police inspect the grounds of a kindergarten that was damaged in Russia’s drone attack. Kyiv, Ukraine. November 25, 2023.
Valentyn Ogirenko / Reuters / Scanpix / LETA

The Russian Armed Forces launched a large-scale drone attack on Ukraine early Saturday, deploying what the Ukrainian Air Force Command said was a record number of Shahed drones. Kyiv City Military Administration Head Serhiy Popko called it the “most massive” attack of its kind since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The air raid warning in Kyiv lasted six hours, according to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko. Five people were injured, including an 11-year-old child. All were treated on-site and did not require hospitalization.

According to Ukrainian military estimates, 75 drones came from two directions: Russia’s Krasnodar Krai and Kursk region. Ukraine’s Air Force said that 74 of the 75 drones had been downed. Kyiv was the main target of the attack, with Popko stating that more than 60 “aerial targets” were shot down over the capital. Six drones and a Kh-59 guided missile were also intercepted over the Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv regions.

Anti-aircraft missile troops, tactical aviation, mobile fire groups, and electronic warfare units repelled the attack, with air defense systems activated in at least six Ukrainian regions: Kyiv, Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, and Kirovohrad.

Smoke over Kyiv during the drone attack
Vladyslav Sodel / Reuters / Scanpix / LETA
Latvian President Edgars Rinkēvičs posted a photograph of himself on X, formerly known as Twitter, in a Kyiv shelter during the attack. Rinkēvičs arrived in Kyiv the day before.
Edgars Rinkēvičs

In Kyiv’s Solomianskyi district, falling drone debris caused a fire to break out in a kindergarten and shattered nearby windows. Two women were rescued after being trapped on the second floor of a damaged five-story building. Drone fragments fell in neighborhoods across Kyiv, hitting the stairwell of a multi-story building in the Dniprovskyi district and an apartment building in the Holosiivskyi district.

The kindergarten damaged during Russia’s drone attack on Kyiv
Valentyn Ogirenko / Reuters / Scanpix / LETA
Residents of a building in Kyiv that was damaged in the attack
Valentyn Ogirenko / Reuters / Scanpix / LETA

In central Kyiv, 77 residential buildings and 120 institutions were left without electricity after an overhead power line was cut, reported Ukraine’s Energy Ministry. High-voltage overhead lines in the Kyiv region were also disrupted due to damage.

The Ukrainian energy company DTEK said that Russian troops have resumed massive attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. According to DTEK, 151 apartment buildings, 75 private houses, and 12 institutions in Kyiv were left without power, as well as 16,000 houses in the Kyiv region. Energy workers quickly restored electricity to most of these homes, DTEK said. Currently, 296 customers in the Kyiv region’s Vyshhorod district do not have electricity.

Ukrenergo, Ukraine’s state energy company, has warned of energy supply restrictions in Kyiv and the Kyiv region. According to its data, Saturday’s attack damaged the main overhead power transmission and distribution lines in central Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky linked the attack to the fact that November 25 is Holodomor Remembrance Day in Ukraine.

Over 70 ‘Shaheds’ on the night of Holodomor-Genocide Victims Remembrance Day. Deliberate terror. Precisely at this time. The Russian leadership is proud that it can kill.

Our military shot down most of the drones. Unfortunately, not all. But we are working to further strengthen our air defense and shoot down more. And we continue working to unite the world in defense against Russian terror. The terrorist state must lose and be held accountable for its actions.

Ukrainian media reported that Russia, for the first time, used black Shahed drones. Previously, the drones used to attack were white. Ukraine’s Air Force said the Russian army has begun covering the drones with carbon-based materials or painting them black to make it harder for air defense systems to detect them.

The Russian authorities have not yet commented on the attack.

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