At least one person has died in Kyiv and three were injured when falling debris reportedly from a destroyed Russian drone hit a high-rise apartment building early on Tuesday and started a fire, officials in the Ukrainian capital said.
The attack on Kyiv was the third in 24 hours and came after a rare daytime attack on Monday that sent people running for shelter.
Kyiv’s military administration posted that two upper floors of the building were destroyed and there could still be people under the rubble.
The mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said at least one person had died, one was hospitalised and two others were injured.
A 27-year-old woman was hospitalised with “moderate” injuries caused by falling debris in a southern area of Kyiv, Klitschko said.
“Massive attack! Stay indoors!” the mayor posted, adding that a multi-storey building was also damaged in the Holosiivskyi district.
The city’s military administration said the night-time attack was carried out using drones. In a later post, the administration said: “In the last 24 hours, the enemy has already carried out 3 attacks. Moreover, the enemy is constantly changing weapons for attack, after the combined missile-drone, and then ballistic, the aggressor used exclusively UAVs.”
Falling debris caused a fire at a house in the city’s southern Darnytskyi district, and three cars in the centrally located Pechersky district also burned, the administration said.
Air raid sirens sounded overnight in Kyiv and in the central Cherkasy, Kirovohrad and Mykolayiv regions, as well as the southern Kherson region.
Russia has repeatedly attacked the Ukrainian capital in May using a combination of drones and missiles, mostly at night, in an apparent attempt to undermine Ukrainians’ will to fight after more than 15 months of war.
Serhii Popko, the head of Kyiv’s military administration, said on Monday that as well as keeping Ukrainian civilians in a state of “deep psychological tension”, Russia’s leaders were seeking to exhaust Ukraine’s air defense with the relentless spate of attacks.
Ukrainian officials have flagged concerns that their anti-aircraft defences from the Soviet era are running out of ammunition and that western systems such as the US Patriot are not arriving in sufficient quantities to fill the gap.
In his nightly video address on Monday, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, praised US-supplied Patriot anti-missile defences.
“When Patriots in the hands of Ukrainians ensure a 100% interception rate of any Russian missile, terror will be defeated,” Zelenskiy said.
Tuesday’s strikes were Russia’s 17th air assault on the capital this month and came after the city was attacked twice on Monday. People who had become accustomed to a string of night-time attacks ran to Kyiv’s metro stations and other shelters after a succession of loud bangs as incoming missiles were intercepted and bursts of smoke from air defences dotted the clear morning sky.
Zelenskiy posted a video of what he said was frightened schoolchildren running and screaming down a Kyiv street to a bomb shelter to the sound of air raid sirens. “This is what an ordinary weekday looks like,” Zelenskiy wrote.