Several attacks by “kamikaze drones” on the center of kyiv

Attacks from “kamikaze drones” targeted this Monday, October 17 in the morning a central district of kyiv and several very strong explosions were heard, exactly one week after a series of Russian strikes on the Ukrainian capital. According to Ukrainian officials quoted by AFP, kyiv was hit four times.

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“The capital was attacked by suicide drones”, said on Telegram shortly after the explosions the chief of the cabinet of the Ukrainian presidency, Andriï Yermak. A series of explosions were heard successively around 5:35 a.m., 5:45 a.m. and 5:58 a.m. (Paris time). Air-raid sirens had sounded shortly before the first explosion.

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The attacks targeted the Shevshchenko sector, a busy residential area in central kyiv, according to Mayor Vitali Klitschko, who asked the population to stay in shelters.

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No information was given on possible interceptions of these drones. During these strikes, at least three people were killed, said an official of the Ukrainian presidency, Kyrylo Tymoshenko.

“Several residential buildings damaged”

After the first strikes, an AFP journalist saw one of these devices fall on a building, while two police officers on their knees tried to shoot it down with their service weapons.

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After the explosions, a fire broke out in an uninhabited building and “several residential buildings were damaged”added the mayor of kyiv, without being able to provide an initial assessment at this stage.

The chief of staff of the Ukrainian presidency, Andriï Yermak, estimated Monday morning that these Russian attacks fell under the ” despair “ and called for immediate support for Ukrainian anti-aircraft defence, demanding “more weapons to defend the sky and destroy the enemy”.

A policeman tries to shoot down a drone in kyiv on October 17, 2022. (YASUYOSHI CHIBA / AFP)

On Monday, October 10, Russian bombardments on a scale unmatched for months had hit kyiv and other cities in Ukraine, killing at least 19 people and injuring 105 and sparking an international outcry.

They were launched in retaliation for a huge explosion that partially destroyed the Kerch Strait Bridge, a symbolic and strategic structure linking Russian territory to the Crimean Peninsula, annexed in 2014 by Moscow. kyiv has neither admitted nor denied his involvement.

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Russian strikes last week targeted critical Ukrainian infrastructure, particularly the country’s energy facilities, often very far from the front. According to the Ukrainian presidency, attack drones delivered to Russia by Iran had been used in addition to missiles.

More air defense systems

In response to last week’s bombings, the largest in months, Ukraine’s Western allies have promised it more air defense systems. After the announcement of the arrival of a German system and the forthcoming delivery of American models, the United Kingdom announced that it would supply ammunition capable of shooting down cruise missiles. Spain will provide four medium-range “Hawk” ground-to-air systems, according to NATO.

On Friday, from Astana, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said he was satisfied with these massive strikes, judged that new large-scale bombardments on the cities of Ukraine were not necessary. ” for the moment “.

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Russia is on the defensive on most of the front in Ukraine, retreating since September in the North, East and South. In an attempt to reverse the trend, Vladimir Putin ordered at the end of September the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of reservists, in other words civilians, to go to the front.

Several attacks by “kamikaze drones” on the center of kyiv