Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky commended the country’s air defence forces following Russia’s most extensive drone attack on Kyiv since the conflict began. Zelensky referred to the forces as “heroes” after military leaders reported that the majority of the kamikaze drones deployed by Russia were intercepted. Regrettably, two individuals lost their lives, and several others were injured by debris.
Russia has intensified its assaults on Kyiv in recent weeks, attempting to overpower the capital’s defences. The latest attack occurred as the citizens of Kyiv prepared to celebrate the city’s foundation anniversary, known as Kyiv Day. Demonstrating remarkable resilience, people gathered in parks, bars, and restaurants to mark the occasion.
Kyiv’s mayor, Vitaliy Klitschko, described the overnight attack as “massive,” with drones converging from multiple directions simultaneously. Some structures, including a tobacco factory, caught fire after being struck by falling drone fragments. In Zhytomyr, a city in north-western Ukraine, at least 26 residential buildings, schools, and medical units were damaged, according to Ukrayinska Pravda, an online news site.
Military commanders stated that Ukraine’s air defence forces had downed 58 of the 59 Iranian-made drones launched by Russia.
Zelensky praised his air force, saying…
“Every time you shoot down enemy drones and missiles, lives are saved… you are heroes.”
In recent attacks, Russia has employed kamikaze drones and various cruise and ballistic missiles. Analysts believe Moscow aims to deplete and damage Ukraine’s air defences before launching its anticipated counter-offensive. On Saturday, one of Ukraine’s most senior security officials informed the BBC that the country was prepared to initiate such an operation.
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the powerful National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, stated that an assault to reclaim territory from President Vladimir Putin’s occupying forces could begin “tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or in a week.” Ukraine has been planning a counter-offensive for months but has sought as much time as possible to train troops and receive military equipment from Western allies. Meanwhile, Russian forces have been fortifying their defences in the captured regions of south-eastern Ukraine.
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