KYIV, Ukraine – Russia targeted Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, with another wave of drone attacks early Tuesday, killing at least one person, burning homes and extending the a day of terror for the residents of the town.
For the second night in a row and on the 17th of this month, explosions in different parts of Kyiv jolted people out of bed and sent them scurrying for cover as Moscow launched a new offensive. in the city of 3.6 million.
Ukraine’s Air Force said on Tuesday that air defense teams shot down 29 of 31 Iranian-made drones launched by Russia overnight, most of them targeting Kyiv.
A 33-year-old woman was killed by falling debris during the attack and at least 13 people were injured, Ivan Vyhivskyi, the acting chief of the National Police, said in a statement.
While Kyiv has been under attack since the first days of the war, the pace and intensity of the attacks in May are disturbing even to civilians now spending long hours in bomb shelters and sleepless nights huddled in the corridor.
The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, in an appearance on national television, caught the anger of most of the city. “If the Russians can make Kyiv a nightmare, why are the people of Moscow resting?”
Shortly after Mr. Klitschko spoke, Russian officials accused Ukraine of launching a drone attack on Moscow. There was no comment from the Ukrainian military, which has maintained a policy of strategic ambiguity regarding the Russian strikes. But Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, said Kyiv was not “directly involved.”
Yulia Honcharova, a resident of Kyiv, reacted to the news of the attack in Moscow with a mixture of anger and opposition. “I’m not one of those who believe that we should bomb their homes at night, but I want them to feel what it’s like to live under constant alarms like the people who live in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, ” he said.
Ukrainian officials said the concentrated attacks on Kyiv were likely aimed at wearing out air defense systems to make the capital more vulnerable and to wear out civilians.
Serhiy Popko, the head of Kyiv’s military administration, said people in the city were confused by the attacks, which were separated by hours, not days.
“In the last 24 hours, the enemy has carried out three attacks,” he said on Tuesday morning.
Before dawn on Tuesday, Russia targeted Kyiv with more than three dozen drones and cruise missiles fired from multiple directions to try to confuse its air defense systems. Then, less than six hours later, Moscow launched an extraordinary daytime barrage of ballistic missiles on the city, sending residents, including students carrying their backpacks, running for cover.
The highly successful work of Ukraine’s air defense teams this month has saved many lives and limited damage from strikes.
But drones and missiles still put civilians at risk as debris rained down on the streets below.
“Everything that was destroyed in the sky, unfortunately, flew to the ground and brought suffering to people,” Mykola Oleschuk, commander of the Ukrainian air force, said in a statement on Tuesday morning.
Russia has stepped up its attacks on Kyiv as Ukraine prepares for a counter-offensive.
Mr. Zelensky, in his overnight address to the nation on Monday, said that each “terrorist attack” against the capital and other cities “brings us and the whole world to an obvious conclusion: The will of Russia will follow the path of evil until the end. .”
Vowing to respond to Russian aggression on the battlefield, Mr. Zelensky said his government had approved the dates for the start of offensive operations.
“Decisions have been made,” he said.
Anna Lukinova and Natalia Novosolova contributed to the report.