Russia attacks Kyiv for third night in a row, one killed in south Ukraine
Russia attacked Kyiv for a third successive night, wounding four people, and an elderly woman was killed by Russian shelling in southern Ukraine on Thursday, Ukrainian officials said.
Air defences shot down all 20 drones that attacked Kyiv and the surrounding region, as well as two Kalibr missiles in other parts of the country, the air force said.
Two people suffered from smoke inhalation during fires caused by falling debris after the downing of the drones over Kyiv, and two were hurt by shrapnel, the interior ministry said.
Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said one person had been killed in a fire overnight but the ministry signalled that the blaze may not have been sparked by falling debris, saying the cause was still being determined.
“This night, Russian terrorists again resorted to a mass attack,” said Ruslan Kravchenko, the governor of the Kyiv region. British ambassador Melinda Simmons wrote on Twitter: “Pretty nasty night.”
A missile and several drones were shot down in the Mykolaiv region in southern Ukraine, damaging several buildings but causing no deaths, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office said.
Several hours later, an 85-year-old woman was killed when Russian forces shelled the village of Mykilske in the southern region of Kherson around noon (0900 GMT), regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said.
Russia, which began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, did not comment on the latest attacks.
There was no easing of air strikes while NATO leaders met in Lithuania this week for a summit which Zelenskiy said provided Ukraine with “a foundation of security” for the first time since it gained independence in 1991. Heavy fighting also continued.
Although Kyiv says its forces have made progress in the east and south since starting a counteroffensive in June, Russia still occupies swathes of territory and Zelenskiy has said the counterattack has gone more slowly than initially hoped.
Serhiy Cherevatyi, spokesperson for the eastern military command, said Ukraine had enjoyed “partial success” on the southern flanks of the shattered eastern city Bakhmut and that Ukrainian troops held the strategic initiative there.
He said Moscow’s forces were putting up “unbelievable resistance” but had failed in an attempt to break through Ukrainian lines near Lyman and Kupiansk in the east. Such a breakthrough would boost Russian hopes of pushing further west.
(Reporting by Olena Harmash, Ron Popeski, Oleksander Kozhukhar and Anna Pruchnicka; Editing by Timothy Heritage)