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Russia launches largest drone attack on Ukraine since start of war, injuring 5

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Russia on Saturday morning launched its most intense drone attack on the Ukraine capital of Kyiv since the beginning of its full-scale invasion, leaving five people injured, military officials said.

Seventy-five Iranian-made drones were launched into the north-central region, of which at least 70 were destroyed by air defense, Ukraine’s air force said.

At least five civilians were wounded in the hours-long drone assault, including an 11-year-old child, according to Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko.

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Damaged kindergarten school building in Kyiv

A damaged kindergarten following a Russian drone attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

The attacks, which came from the north and east, saw several buildings damaged, including a kindergarten, as falling debris rained down from the sky, sparking fires. 

The assault began at 4 a.m. local time and continued in waves for over six hours. The offense caused power outages in 77 residential buildings and 120 institutions, according to Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv city administration. 

Ukraine’s Energy Ministry said 17,000 people were without power in the Kyiv region as a result of the attack, noting that four power lines were damaged.

The Russian attack was “the most massive air attack by drones on Kyiv,” Popko said.

Child sheltering in place in Kyiv

A girl takes shelter as a drone attack takes place in the city on Nov. 25, 2023, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Kostya Liberov/Libkos/Getty Images)

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In addition to Kyiv, the Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv and Kirovohrad regions were also targeted.

The drones used in the attack were Iranian-made Shahed drones, which are seen as a cheap alternative to ballistic missiles, according to the BBC. Russia’s missile sticks are understood to be dwindling as the war grinds on.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the attacks were the latest example of Russia’s terror campaign against his country. 

Drone attacks on Kyiv, Ukraine

Air defense systems operating outside Kyiv on November 25, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. According to the country’s air force, more than 70 Iranian-made Shahed drones targeted the Kyiv area overnight, although most were intercepted by air defenses. (Photo by Libkos/Getty Images)

“We keep working to strengthen our air defense and unite the world in the fight against Russian terror,” Zelenskyy wrote on X.

“The terrorist state must be defeated and held accountable for its actions.”

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Zelenskyy also noted that the attacks occurred on the day that Ukraine commemorated the Holodomor famine, also known as the Great Ukrainian Famine, which killed millions of Ukrainians from 1932-1933.

“Russia’s leadership appears to be proud of its ability to kill people,” Zelenskyy wrote. 

Last week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Kyiv where he announced the Pentagon would be sending an additional $100 million in weapons to Ukraine, including artillery and munitions for air defense systems.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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