Kiev firefighters fight the flames of a building hit by a drone (Photo: Getty)

The Ukrainian capital Kyiv suffered a spate of drone strikes yesterday as Russia launched an overnight strike.

Only two were injured and there were no fatalities as troops shot down 18 of 23 self-exploding drones.

But officials said some “critical infrastructure” had been hit, leading to more blackouts across the region.

The attack came as Russian President Vladimir Putin met his counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus, which provided the armed forces with a launching pad for their invasion of Ukraine nearly a decade ago.

It came three days after airstrikes, which Ukrainian officials described as one of Russia’s biggest attacks on Kiev since the start of the war, with a failed attempt to capture the capital.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko after their meeting in Minsk (Photo: Sputnik/Pavel Bednyakov/Kremlin via Reuters)

Yesterday was Saint Nicholas Day, the start of the Christmas holidays in Ukraine, when children usually get their first presents hidden under their pillow.

“This is how the Russians congratulated our children on the holiday,” Serhii Kruk, the head of Ukraine’s emergency medical service, wrote on Telegram. He included photos of firefighters barely visible amid fierce flames shooting out of a stricken infrastructure facility.

Debris from the downed drones damaged a street and broke windows in a residential building. One of them hit the house of Olha and Ivan Kobzarenko, aged 84 and 83, on the outskirts of the capital.

Ivan suffered a head injury and her dog, Malysh, was killed.

“I know I’m not alone,” Olha said. “Everyone suffers. Everyone.”

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