A missile strike in Kyiv A missile strike in Kyiv 

Ukraine’s capital hit by ‘exceptional’ Russian air strikes

Ukraine’s capital Kyiv has been targeted by massive Russian air strikes that authorities described as “exceptional in density.” The strikes were part of broader attacks that officials said killed at least six civilians over the past 24 hours.

By Stefan J. Bos

Residents in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv were kept awake by a barrage of Russian rockets. Ukraine said all 18 missiles were shot down, and footage showed air defenses destroying targets over the city.

But Moscow claimed its attack - which used drones and missiles - hit all its targets.

People appeared terrified as they watched strikes illuminating the skies over the Ukrainian capital. “I don’t know, guys, if you can hear this, but we are getting attacked with hypersonic missiles right now in Kyiv,” a man said while recording the attacks. “Ohh,” he added as another missile exploded nearby.   

The head of Ukraine’s armed forces, Valerii Zaluzhny, said Russia attacked Kyiv from the north, south, and east and that 18 air, sea, and land-based missiles had been used.

He added that among the missiles destroyed by Kyiv were six Kinzhal hypersonic rockets capable of reaching speeds of more than 11,000 kilometers per hour or 7,000 miles.

Air defense systems

Russia had claimed that these could not be taken out by any of the world’s air defense systems.

The attacks came as the death toll mounted in eastern Ukraine, with regional governors saying at least six people were killed in the Kharkiv and Donetsk areas over the last 24 hours.

A man and a woman were reportedly killed in Russian shelling in the village of Dvorichna in Kharkiv, with another man taken to hospital because of his injuries.

In the Donetsk region, four were killed by Russian attacks in the town of Avdiivka, while another three were injured in Chasiv Yar, a city about 15 kilometers, or nearly 10 miles, to the west of the devastated town of Bakhmut.

In recent weeks, Moscow has stepped up its air campaign ahead of an expected Ukrainian offensive.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed or injured since Russia’s invasion began in February last year.

Listen to the report by Stefan Bos

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16 May 2023, 16:17