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Russia launches massive air attack on Ukraine’s Kyiv: officials

16.05.2023 11:00
Russia has unleashed intense air strikes on Kyiv overnight, its eighth such assault on the Ukrainian capital since the beginning of May, according to officials.
Ukraines capital Kyiv.
Ukraine's capital Kyiv.Andrew Bossi, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The air attack came in the early hours of Tuesday, using drones, cruise and probably ballistic missiles, Polish state news agency PAP reported. 

Serhiy Popko, head of Kyiv's city military administration, wrote on the Telegram messaging app: "It was exceptional in its density - the maximum number of attack missiles in the shortest period of time."

He added, as quoted by the Reuters news agency: "According to preliminary information, the vast majority of enemy targets in the airspace of Kyiv were detected and destroyed." 

It was not immediately known how many objects were shot down over the city and if any of them managed to hit their target, Britain’s The Guardian newspaper reported.

On Tuesday, falling debris was reported in Kyiv’s Obolonskyi, Shevchenkivskyi, Solomyanskyi and Darnytskyi districts, according to Reuters.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said falling debris set several cars on fire and damaged a building in the western Solomyanskyi district, injuring three people, The Guardian reported.

Klitschko also said that air defence systems were repelling a drone attack south of Boryspil, a city just southeast of Kyiv that hosts the capital’s main passenger airport, which is now closed, according to Reuters.

The damage in other districts was not significant and there was no immediate information on potential casualties there, Kyiv’s military administration said.

Air raid sirens blared across nearly all of Ukraine in the early hours of Tuesday, and were heard over Kyiv and its region for more than three hours, Reuters reported.

Klitschko said on Telegram that no workers or animals were injured by debris falling on Kyiv’s zoo overnight, but that some trees were damaged.

The mayor wrote, as quoted by The Guardian: “The rocket fragment damaged the greenery, but all the broken branches have already been removed. Anti-stress measures are now being conducted with the animals. And today, as usual, at 10 a.m. the zoo will open for visitors. So come to calm down, and support the residents of Kyiv Zoo.”

Ukraine shoots down 18 Russian missiles: officials 

Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces, was quoted as saying that the Ukrainian air defence successfully shot down all 18 Russian missiles targeting the country overnight.

Besides taking out six Kinzhal ballistic missiles, the Ukrainian air defence successfully shot down nine Kalibr missiles and three land-based missiles, including both S-400 and Iskander-M missiles, Ukraine’s Air Force said, according to The Kyiv Independent website.

Ukraine also downed six Iranian-made Shahed-136/131 kamikaze drones and three "reconnaissance" drones that included Orlan-10 and SuperCam types, according to officials.

Russia launched its latest attack at around 3 a.m. on Tuesday from the north, south and east, The Kyiv Independent reported.

Last month, Ukraine received a delivery of US-made Patriot air defence systems from Germany, according to news reports at the time. 

After a weeks-long hiatus, Russia in late April resumed its long-range missile strikes on Ukraine, often targeting Kyiv, but so far Ukraine has been able to repel the vast majority of the attacks, according to Reuters.

'Limited battlefield successes’ for Ukraine: ISW

Ukrainian officials this week “acknowledged limited Ukrainian battlefield successes during recent localised counterattacks” in and around the key eastern city of Bakhmut, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). 

In its latest report on the war in Ukraine, the US think tank cited Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar as saying on Monday that Ukrainian forces made unspecified “advances in and around Bakhmut” in the past several days. 

Malyar added that Russian forces were deploying airborne forces to defend Bakhmut’s flanks, presumably from other areas of the front, according to the ISW.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces Commander Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi described the Ukrainian counterattacks as “the first successes” in Ukraine’s overall defence of Bakhmut.

Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces Spokesman Col. Serhiy Cherevaty said on Sunday that Ukrainian forces had advanced 150-600 metres in various directions in the Bakhmut area and that Russian forces continued efforts “to complete the capture of Bakhmut and defend the occupied territories,” the ISW reported.

Tuesday is day 447 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, Reuters, The Kyiv Independent, The Guardian, ISW