Kyiv Hit by Drone Attacks as Russia Targets Infrastructure

© yasuyoshi chiba/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

KYIV, Ukraine—Russia launched a fresh wave of Iranian-made drones to attack central Kyiv in the early hours of Monday, Ukrainian officials said, as Moscow presses a campaign targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure before the onset of winter.

Rescue workers pulled 18 people from the rubble of a residential building that was damaged by a strike in the central Shevchenkivskyi district, said Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko.

At least four people, including a pregnant woman, were found dead amid the debris, according to Mr. Klitschko. Authorities cordoned off a section of the city center and emergency services worked to put out a fire.


Load Error

“The enemy can attack our cities, but it won’t be able to break us,” said a message posted to the Telegram channel of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who shared footage of the rescue operation.

The strikes underscored the threat posed by Iranian-made drones, which Moscow has deployed more widely on the battlefield as its forces lose ground to Ukrainian troops.

Mr. Klitschko posted an image of the fragments of a kamikaze drone he said was used in the attack. Of 28 drones Russia launched toward the capital, five evaded Ukraine’s air defenses, he said, providing no details about what else had been struck. The rest of the drones were intercepted, he said.

There were also drone-and-missile strikes elsewhere in Ukraine.

“As a result of the terrorist attack, energy infrastructure facilities in the central and northern [regions] of Ukraine have been damaged,” said Ukraine’s electricity-transmission-system operator, Ukrenergo. Repair work is under way, it said, warning it might be necessary to introduce blackouts.

Russian forces have increasingly turned to targeting civilian infrastructure in Kyiv and other cities as winter approaches, disrupting electricity and fuel supplies. Ukraine’s Western partners have pledged to strengthen the country’s air defenses in the wake of the missile and drone attacks in recent weeks that often now target the heart of Kyiv, the capital.

“We need more air-defense systems and as soon as possible,” said presidential spokesman Andriy Yermak.

Commenting on the renewed strikes on civilian infrastructure in Kyiv, the U.S. Embassy vowed to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes.”

An adviser to Mr. Zelensky blamed Tehran for the casualties: “Iran is responsible for the murders of Ukrainians,” Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter. “[A] country that oppresses its own people is now giving [Russian] monsters weapons for mass murders in the heart of Europe.”

An initial barrage last week—one of the broadest and most intense of the war—damaged electricity substations and other infrastructure facilities with drones and more than 80 missiles, of which roughly half were shot down by Ukraine’s defenses.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that most designated targets had already been hit and there was “no need for massive strikes,” but attacks have continued, with power knocked out again in parts of Kyiv on Saturday.

Energy workers have imposed blackouts to ensure the grid’s stability. In his nightly address, Mr. Zelensky appealed once more for Ukrainians to limit their electricity consumption during peak hours to reduce pressure on the grid.

“This is a step that, along with others, will ensure the failure of Russian terrorist plans,” he said.

The Iranian-made drones that carried out Monday’s attack were launched from southern Ukraine, the air force said, adding that a further 11 had been shot down.

Three Russian cruise missiles were also shot down over the Dnipropetrovsk region, but another hit a power facility.

Serhiy Kovalenko, the head of Ukrainian energy company Yasno, said there would be power outages in the region while workers repaired the damage.

A missile launched from the Black Sea also struck an unspecified infrastructure facility in the Odessa region, according to the Ukrainian military’s southern operational command.

Ukrainian officials see the recent intensification of strikes as an effort by Russia to wear down the civilian population in response to a series of setbacks for the Kremlin on the battlefield.

Moscow has been under growing pressure to escalate its attacks in Ukraine since Russian forces began losing ground in September, when Kyiv launched an offensive in the northern Kharkiv region. While retaking thousands of square miles there, Ukrainian forces have also made gains in the south as they seek to recapture as much territory as possible before the onset of winter and the logistical challenges the season brings.

Calls in Russia for Moscow to take a tougher approach have grown louder after an explosion that damaged the strategic and symbolic Kerch Strait Bridge linking the Russian mainland with the occupied Crimean Peninsula. Ukrainian officials haven’t claimed responsibility for the blast but celebrated it and had previously said the bridge was a legitimate target.

The U.K.’s Defense Ministry said Monday that damage to the bridge was amplifying logistical challenges for Russia’s war effort in southern Ukraine. Repair work is ongoing and some traffic is able to cross, but Russian forces have been forced to use alternative supply routes to make up for reduced capacity over the bridge.

Struggling to advance, Russian forces have focused their efforts on seizing the city of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region—a task that has eluded them for months.

Russia has also used Iranian-made drones in conjunction with missiles to overwhelm Ukraine’s air defenses and strike targets far behind the front lines.

On Monday, artillery strikes near a substation knocked out the sole functioning power line between Ukraine’s electrical grid and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear-power plant, the state atomic energy corporation Energoatom said. The plant, Europe’s largest, needs a stable supply of electricity from the grid to cool spent fuel, power ventilation fans and prevent a safety crisis. For now, the plant is using backup diesel generators to cool spent fuel and power ventilation fans, Energoatom said, something the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly warned is dangerous and unsustainable.

Ukrainian officials blamed the shelling on Russia. The Kremlin didn’t say who was responsible.

Russian officials announced Monday that the call-up of reservists was finished in Moscow and that recruiting stations in the city would be officially closed as of Monday. The announcement followed remarks by Mr. Putin at a news conference on Oct. 14 that the defense department had already called up most of the 300,000 troops needed for the so-called partial mobilization, which Mr. Putin said would be completed later this month.

The call-up of reservists has laid bare resentments in Russian regions that the Kremlin has been calling on poorer, far-flung provinces to prop up its flagging campaign in Ukraine. Experts say that Mr. Putin’s support among Russia’s elites could crumble as mobilization draws from renters in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Write to Matthew Luxmoore at Matthew.Luxmoore@wsj.com and Isabel Coles at isabel.coles@wsj.com

Continue Reading

Load Error

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/kyiv-hit-by-drone-attacks-as-russia-targets-infrastructure/ar-AA132MLQ

Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button