Explosions were heard in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, on Wednesday morning, as officials said air defenses shot down more than a dozen Iranian-produced Shahed-136 drones.
In a video message to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the country’s air defenses downed all 13 Russian Shahed “kamikaze” drones that targeted the Kyiv region and capital on Wednesday.
“The terrorists began this morning with 13 Shaheds. According to preliminary information, all 13 drones were shot down by our air defence systems. Well done. I’m proud,” he said.
“Dear citizens, we thank the air defense and do not forget about the sirens,” the president said.
Earlier, an air alert was announced in Ukraine’s Kyiv, Zhytomyr and Vinnitsa regions. Kyiv residents heard the sounds of drones and explosions, and saw multiple flashes, according to local media outlets.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said there were explosions in Kyiv’s Shevchenkivskyi district.
“Services are on their way. More details later,” Klitschko wrote on his Telegram channel.
Yuriy Ignat, a spokesperson for the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, later said during a broadcast on Ukrainian television that air defense had effectively repelled Russian attacks on Kyiv.
“This is a familiar morning…the Kyiv region is a priority target for the enemy. Kyiv is being attacked both with missiles and kamikaze drones,” Ignat said.
According to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, debris from the downed drones caused damage in the region.
“Two administrative buildings were damaged in the capital, and a private house was damaged in the village of Vyshneve in the morning attack on Kyiv and the oblast,” he said on his Telegram channel.
Andrey Nebytov, head of the regional police, said officers found wreckage from a downed Shahed drone in a Kyiv district.
“The police are on the scene. Thanks to the air defense forces for the excellent work,” Nebytov wrote, sharing images of the debris.
“All were destroyed in the air. This is a sign of the strong work of the defenders, but also the result of the support of the allies in the last month. Your air defense systems are saving lives, but we still have a lot of work to do,” he tweeted.
Russia has used the Shahed-136 UAVs, which are commonly referred to as “kamikaze” drones, extensively since October to target Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
The U.K.’s defense ministry said on October 24 that Ukrainian efforts to destroy the Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones Russia has been using in the ongoing war have become “increasingly successful.”
Newsweek has contacted Russia’s foreign ministry for comment.
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