Waves of suicide drones hit Ukrainian capital

Waves of explosive-laden suicide drones hit Kyiv on Monday, setting buildings on fire and sending people rushing to shelters. The exact number of drones that plunged into the capital was not immediately clear. Drones used in the attack appeared to include Iranian-made Shaheds. Previous Russian airstrikes on Kyiv were mainly missiles. In the Kyiv region alone, 13 or more drones were shot down, all as they arrived from the south, a Ukrainian air force spokesman said. Other drones passed. The central district of Shevchenko in the capital is among the affected areas, with damaged apartment buildings and a non-residential building on fire, the mayor of the city of Kyiv said. The targets the drones aimed for were not immediately clear, but Russian airstrikes over the past week have hit infrastructure, including power plants. A drone that struck a building caused the complete collapse of at least three apartments and left a gaping hole. Rescuers rushed through the rubble to search for victims amid gray smoke. Iranian-made Shaheds, which Russia has renamed Geran-2 drones, contain an explosive charge and can linger on targets before diving into them. They can be fired one after another from racks. Their distinctive A-shaped wing makes them easily identifiable. Iran has previously denied supplying weapons to Russia, although its Revolutionary Guard leader boasted of supplying weapons to the world’s biggest powers, without giving further details. Drones have also been used repeatedly by Russia elsewhere in Ukraine in recent weeks to target urban centers and infrastructure, including power plants.

Christi C. Elwood