The capital of UkraineKyiv, has again been the target of airstrikes from Russiadescribed by an official as of “exceptional intensity”.
Ukraine reported that 18 missiles were shot down and video footage showed the defense systems destroying rockets over the city.
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But Russia claims that their attack, in which they used drones and missiles, had hit all the targets.
Moscow has increased its air campaign in recent weeksanticipating a Ukrainian offensive.
Air-raid alarms sounded at about 02:30 a.m. local time (23:30 GMT on Monday) and were silenced two hours after what was the eighth attack on the capital this month.
were heard an unusual number of explosions in the city centeras authorities informed residents online that air defenses had been activated.
By land, sea and air
The commander of the Ukrainian armed forces, Valerii Zaluzhny, said that Russia attacked Kyiv from the north, south and east and that 18 air, sea and ground launched missiles had been used.
Serhiy Popko, head of the capital’s military administration, described the shelling as “the maximum number of missile strikes in the shortest period of time.”
“According to preliminary information, the vast majority of enemy targets in Kyiv airspace were detected and destroyed,” he added.
General Zaluzhny said that included nine Kalibr cruise missiles, which were launched from ships in the Black Sea, and three ground-launched missiles.
He also said that Kyiv managed to destroy six Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, which are capable of reaching speeds of more than 11,000 km/h.
Russia has previously stated that these weapons could not be reached by any defense system in the world.
It is more difficult to defend against hypersonic weapons because of their speed, plus they fly at low altitudes, invisible to ground radar tracking, and can maneuver mid-air.
Ukraine claimed it shot down a Kinzhal for the first time last week, during an earlier attack on Kyiv.
If those claims are true, Moscow will be frustrated that the best weapons in its missile fleet can already be intercepted.. That is largely due to the advent of modern defense systems shipped from the West, including the Patriot system.
But Russia stated that it had been able to take out a Patriot system in Tuesday’s attack on Kyiv. The BBC cannot independently confirm any of the claims made by either country.
against the airport
Kyiv residents were warned Tuesday to stay away from windows as debris from intercepted missiles fell from the sky.
Mayor Vitali Klitschko said that rocket debris had fallen in central districts, including the city zoo. There were no animals or workers injured.
It is reported that the Solomyansky district, which includes the international airport, suffered the greatest impact.
Popko assured that a fire that started in a non-residential area of that district has already been put out.
Kseniia, a resident of the capital, told BBC Radio 4 news program that she and her husband were asleep when they heard a “series of loud explosions” above the building. She likened the intensity to an attack from the movie Star Wars or an action video game.
He also said that thanks to the support of international allies, Ukraine is already capable of tracking and destroying high-caliber missiles.
“It’s a great relief to know that Kyiv has such a strong defense now.”
Another resident, Yevhen Petrov, said Tuesday’s attack marked the first time since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 that his home had trembled at the strength of the attack.
The restart of Russian attacks on Kyiv earlier this month came after a 50-day lull. The Ukrainian authorities believe that Moscow’s strategy is decimate air defense systems, which have been so successful in intercepting most of the missiles and drones they have launched.
In recent days, President Volodymyr Zelensky has been on a European tour, on which Western allies have promised him several billion dollars worth of military equipment. They include UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, thousands of civilians and fighters have been killed or injured, cities and towns have been destroyed in fighting, and almost 8.2 million Ukrainians have registered as refugees in Europe, 2.8 million of them in Russia.
Additional reporting by BBC arms analyst Chris Partridge.
I am Jack Morton and I work in 24 News Recorder. I mostly cover world news and I have also authored 24 news recorder. I find this work highly interesting and it allows me to keep up with current events happening around the world.