Ukraine explosions: Russian drone strikes damage five buildings in Kyiv

Ukrainian authorities said they have thwarted a Russian attack on Kyiv and the surrounding region as their air defence system intercepted and destroyed 13 explosive-laden drones – although wreckage from some of them damaged five buildings.

No casualties have been reported. Wednesday’s attempted strikes underline how vulnerable Ukraine’s capital remains to the regular Russian attacks that have devastated infrastructure and population centres in recent weeks, mostly in the country’s east and south.

But they also highlighted Ukraine’s claims of increasing efficiency in intercepting weapons — something Patriot missiles from the US may soon help boost.

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In a brief video statement, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said the “terrorists” fired 13 Iranian-made drones and all were intercepted.

Such drones have been part of the firepower, along with rockets, missiles, shelling mortars and artillery, as Russia targets power stations, water facilities and other public utility sites.

The snow-covered capital remained largely calm after the attack, which occurred around dawn. As the working day began, authorities sounded the all-clear.

The head of the Kyiv city administration, Serhii Popko, wrote on Telegram the attempted strikes came in two waves. Wreckage from the intercepted drones damaged an administrative building and four residential buildings, he said.

A blast left the three-storey tax office building in the central Shevchenkyvskyi district with a gaping hole in the roof and blew out windows in parked cars and in a neighbouring building. Clean-up crews were on site quickly to shovel away the rubble and roll out plastic sheeting to cover the blown-out windows in freezing temperatures.

Rescuers and police experts examine remains of a drone following a strike on an administrative building in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.Rescuers and police experts examine remains of a drone following a strike on an administrative building in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
Rescuers and police experts examine remains of a drone following a strike on an administrative building in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

One man, unfazed, pushed his son on a swing set on a nearby playground as the crews did their work. Anton Rudikov’s family was sleeping when they heard the sounds of an explosion nearby and smashing windows.

“The children were frightened, the windows flew out,” said Mr Rudikov, who has daughters aged 13 and 18. “What else can I say?”

Local residents said they saw fragments from a drone that contained the words “For Ryazan”. The Kremlin claims Ukraine was responsible for an attack on a military base in the Ryazan region of western Russia last week.

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Ukrainian authorities have trumpeted their ability to down Russian weapons. But strikes in some areas continue to cause deaths and havoc, particularly in areas close to the front lines in the east and south. In the southern city of Odesa, drone strikes temporarily shut off the power last week. Kyiv has suffered comparatively little damage.

During a previous round of Russian volleys on December 5, more than 60 of 70 strikes were intercepted by air defence systems, including nine out of ten targeting the capital and the surrounding region.

US officials said on Tuesday the United States was poised to approve sending a Patriot missile battery to Ukraine, agreeing to an urgent request from Ukrainian leaders desperate for more robust weapons to shoot down incoming Russian missiles.

Mr Zelensky pressed western leaders as recently as Monday to provide more advanced weapons to help his country in its war with Russia. The Patriot would be the most advanced surface-to-air missile system the West has provided to Ukraine to help repel Russian aerial attacks since Russia invaded on February 24.

The damage caused by Russian strikes has interrupted electricity, heating and water supplies to many Ukrainians.




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