Six are dead in a Russian airstrike that hit the centre of Kyiv on Monday morning.
This marks the second time in a week that Russia has hit the Ukrainian capital using ‘kamikaze’ or suicide drones, and the first time that the center of the capital has been hit by Russia.
The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, posted on social media that approximately 28 drones were seen flying over the city and that there were a total of five explosions.
He also stated that the blasts had hit a residential building and that rescue operations were underway.
For months, fighting had been concentrated in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border after Moscow’s failed attempt to capture Kyiv last spring. Since Ukraine launched a counter-offensive and has started to regain territory in the east, Russia has returned to hitting deeper into the country.
Around the same time as the strikes on Kyiv on Monday morning, Russia also targeted crucial infrastructure in the region around Kyiv, in Dnipropetrovsk (central Ukraine), and in Sumy in the northeast.
The attacks left “hundreds of localities without electricity,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.
Among the infrastructure damaged or destroyed was an energy facility in the Dnipropetrovsk region, after being hit by an overnight missile. Ukraine also reported strikes that set ablaze a sunflower oil terminal in the southern port of Mykolaiv.
“All night and all morning, the enemy terrorises the civilian population. Kamikaze drones and missiles are attacking all of Ukraine,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said on the Telegram messaging app on Monday.
A week earlier, Russian bombings on a scale not seen for months hit Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, killing at least 19 people, injuring 105 others, and causing an international outcry.
According to the BBC, the drones used in these strikes are thought to be an Iranian-supplied weapon called the Shahed-136. Packed with explosives, they hover above a target before attacking. The explosives then detonate upon impact, destroying the drone. They are often used in groups, attacking like a swarm, and are difficult to spot on radar. Ukraine has also used a U.S.-made version called Switchblade.
The BBC also reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin had said, after last week’s strikes, that there was no need for more large-scale strikes on Ukraine, as most designated targets had been hit. He also said that the previous strikes were in retaliation for the bombing of a key bridge linking Russia to occupied Crimea.