- Written by Yaroslav Lukiev
- BBC News
Russia carried out a new massive drone attack overnight on the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, local officials said, killing at least one person.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said a man died when the wreckage of a drone fell near a petrol station. A woman was injured.
Overall, Russia has launched 54 kamikaze drones at Ukrainian targets, of which 52 were shot down, the Ukrainian Air Force reported.
Officials said that in Kiev alone, more than 40 drones were shot down.
This information has not been independently verified.
Russia – which launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022 – has in recent weeks stepped up its attacks on Kiev, seeking to overwhelm the capital’s defences.
Earlier on Sunday, air raid alerts were activated in 12 regions of Ukraine, from Volyn in the northwest to Dnipropetrovsk in the southeast.
In a post on social media, Klitschko urged Kyiv residents to “stay in shelters”, warning of waves of drone attacks and a “difficult” night ahead.
He said that at least two high-rise buildings in different neighborhoods of the capital caught fire after being hit by shrapnel from a drone.
Kiev officials also reported that warehouses in the southern Holoseevsky district were on fire.
Emergency workers have been deployed.
The latest attack comes as the townspeople celebrate the annual Kyiv Day – a popular holiday in times of peace.
There were also reports of explosions in the city of Zhitomir, west of Kiev.
The air alert was later raised in the capital and across the country.
In its recent attacks, Russia has used so-called kamikaze drones as well as an array of cruise and ballistic missiles.
The attacks come ahead of a widely expected Ukrainian counterattack.
And on Saturday, a senior Ukrainian security official told the BBC that the country was ready to launch such an operation.
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s powerful National Security and Defense Council, said an offensive to reclaim territory from President Vladimir Putin’s occupying forces could begin “tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, or a week later”.
Ukraine had been planning a counterattack for months. But she wanted as much time as possible to train troops and receive military equipment from the Western allies.
“Lifelong food lover. Avid beeraholic. Zombie fanatic. Passionate travel practitioner.”