During a fresh surge of Russian air attacks on Kyiv on Tuesday morning, Ukrainian defense forces reportedly shot down more than 20 drones. At least one person was killed, and four others were injured when their apartment building was struck and set on fire.
According to Kyiv's military administration, the most recent attack involved only Iranian-made Shahed drones and no missiles, unlike most previous assaults.
"A massive attack!" Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko stated via the Telegram messaging application. "Do not leave shelters."
According to Ukrainian officials, one person was killed, and four others were injured when fragments from a destroyed Russian projectile ignited a fire in a high-rise apartment building.
Two upper floors of the building were destroyed, and there may still be persons buried beneath the rubble, Kyiv's military administration officials reported via Telegram's messaging app.
Photos taken by Kyiv officials and Reuters witnesses depicted flames engulfing the upper floors and smoke ascending from the roof.
The head of Kyiv's military administration, Serhiy Popko, stated on Telegram, "The attack was massive, came from different directions, and in several waves."
Several other districts of the capital, including the historic Podil and Pecherskyi neighborhoods, were impacted by debris. It was unclear how many drones Russia launched, and Moscow issued no immediate comment.
After more than 15 months of war, Russia has repeatedly attacked the Ukrainian capital with drones and missiles, primarily at night, in an apparent effort to demoralize the Ukrainians.
The attacks on Tuesday were Russia's 17th air assault on the capital this month and followed the city's uncommon daytime attack on Monday.
In an uncommon acknowledgment of damage to a military "target," Ukraine reported on Monday in the western Khmelnytskiy region that a runway was damaged and five aircraft were taken out of service.
The Russian state-owned news agency RIA quoted the defense ministry as saying that multiple air bases had been attacked. There was no confirmation from Ukraine that any other air bases were damaged.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy lauded U.S.-supplied Patriot anti-missile defenses, claiming that most drones and missiles launched on Sunday and Monday were intercepted.
"Terror will be defeated when Patriots in the hands of Ukrainians guarantee a 100 percent interception rate for any Russian missile," Zelenskiy said in his nocturnal video address on Monday.
The airstrikes come as Ukraine prepares a counteroffensive supported by Western weapons to oust Russian occupiers from territory seized since Moscow's "special military operation" in February 2022.
The director of Kyiv's military administration, Serhiy Popko, stated that the enemy's constant attacks are intended to keep the civilian population under extreme psychological stress.
According to Serhiy Cherevatyi, a spokesman for the eastern division of Ukrainian Forces, Russian paratroopers and motorized units are replacing Wagner mercenary units in the eastern city of Bakhmut on the eastern frontlines.
This week, Wagner began handing over positions to regular troops after declaring complete control of Bakhmut following the war's bloodiest and longest conflict.
Moscow stated that it invaded Ukraine in an effort to "denazify" its neighbor and defend Russian speakers. Opponents from the West describe the invasion as an imperialist land grab in which tens of thousands have been slain, millions have been displaced, and cities have been reduced to rubble.
Russia is willing to resume stalled peace talks with Kyiv and hailed Brazil and China's mediation efforts.
However, a top aide to Zelenskiy stated that Kyiv's peace plan, which calls for the complete withdrawal of Russian forces, was the only way to end the conflict.
"There cannot be a Brazilian peace plan, a Chinese peace plan, or a South African peace plan when discussing the war in Ukraine," chief diplomatic adviser Ihor Zhovkva told Reuters in a late-Friday interview.
Call for DMZ
Mykhailo Podolyak, an additional Zelenskiy aide, wrote on Twitter that any post-war resolution should include a 100-120 km (62-75 mile) demilitarized zone inside Russia along the border.
Josep Borrell, the top diplomat for the European Union, stated that he believed Russia would not negotiate while attempting to win the conflict.
The Ukrainian military stated that an attack on the port of Odesa had caused a fire and infrastructure damage but did not specify whether the damage threatened grain exports.
Ukraine is a major global agricultural supplier, and the port is essential for transport. In addition, it is one of three nations participating in a U.N.-brokered agreement on the secure export of grain via the Black Sea.
Russia stated on Monday that the grain arrangement would be terminated if a U.N. agreement to remove obstacles to Russian grain and fertilizer exports was not met.
Moscow reluctantly consented to extend the grain deal to July 17 this month.