A woman walks past anti-tank barricades in central Kyiv. Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/AP/NTB
Ukraine’s president said 13 drones were shot down in an attack on Kyiv. Early Wednesday morning, residents could hear the explosions as the drones were destroyed.
– The terrorists started this morning with 13 Shahed drones. All 13 were shot, says Volodymyr Zelenskyj. Shahed is an Iranian drone, which Russia has used in several attacks against Ukraine.
No injuries or deaths were reported as a result of the attack.
Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said early in the morning that there were several explosions in Kyiv, Shevchenko district. The old part of the city contains several famous buildings, including the Saint Sophia Cathedral.
The first reports of the explosions came in shortly before 6 a.m. Half an hour later, Klitschko announced Telegram that ten of the drones had been shot down.
According to Zelenskyj, all the drones were shot down.
Two public buildings were damaged by shrapnel from a drone, Kyiv Rescue Service spokeswoman Svitlana Vodolaga told the Suspilne movlennja TV channel.
Kyiv Region Governor Oleksij Kuleba said on Thursday morning according to Sky News that the city’s air defense system has been activated. The anti-aircraft sirens were turned on 20 minutes before the explosions, according to the channel.
The president asks people to take the alarms seriously.
The Ukrainian capital has been exposed to repeated air attacks for almost ten months, and the air raid warning has been sounding frequently since the February invasion. Since October, the attacks have intensified.
The Russians have systematically attacked electricity supplies and other infrastructure, disrupting access to water, heat and electricity for millions of Ukrainians. Earlier in the week, Prime Minister Denys Sjmyhal said 40-50% of the country’s power grid was out of service following the attacks.
Fighting is also taking place along the front line to the south and east.
Grid company Ukrenergo says no part of the power grid was hit in Wednesday’s attack. They praise air defense for its “brilliant” efforts.
On Tuesday, President Zelenskyy told a donors’ conference in Paris that in the short term Ukraine needed 800 million euros in aid for the energy sector. He added that the country also needed spare parts, aggregates and increased imports of gas and electricity.
Long-range anti-aircraft defense
On Tuesday, US sources announced that Patriot-type air defense systems could be delivered to Ukraine. Ukraine has asked for immediate help to shoot down the many rockets and drones that Russia is firing at the country.
In this case, the Patriot system will be the most long-range air defense system that the West sends to Ukraine. The country also received Nasams and other systems developed by Norway.
But Ukraine has already shown itself capable of shooting down many drones with the equipment it has. During the previous big wave of attacks on December 5, more than 60 out of 70 attacks were stopped, according to Ukrainian authorities.
Kremlin: No ceasefire proposal
Kuleba called on the country’s allies to provide more weapons to help Ukraine “fight through the winter” and continue its military advances.
Meanwhile, a Russian government spokesman said there was no talk of a ceasefire over Christmas and New Year.
– No, we have not received a proposal from anyone about this, and no such issue is on the agenda, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov replied when asked whether Russia would take a break from fighting during the upcoming holiday season.
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