Ukraine says its air defences shoot down 15 Russian missiles

Three missiles get through and cause no casualties, Kyiv says, but one person is reported killed in separate attacks in Kherson.

The US Patriot missile air defence system.
Ukraine used its missile defences to shoot down most of the missiles launched during Russia's latest attacks as Kyiv prepares for a long-awaited counteroffensive [File: Radovan Stoklasa/Reuters]

Ukraine says its air defences have destroyed 15 of 18 missiles launched by Russian forces as Moscow has intensified attacks on its neighbour in recent days.

“Around 2.30am [on Monday, 23:30 GMT on Sunday] the Russian invaders attacked Ukraine from strategic aviation planes,” Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhny said on his Telegram channel.

No civilian casualties or destruction of residential buildings or infrastructure were immediately recorded, officials in Kyiv said.

All missiles directed at Ukraine’s capital were destroyed in what they said was the second attack on Kyiv in three days.

Air defence systems were also called into action to shield the Kyiv region, which is a separate administrative entity from the capital city, officials said.

In the southern region of Kherson, at least one person was killed in a Russian attack.

“Over the past day, the enemy carried out 39 shellings, firing 163 shells from heavy artillery, Grads [multiple-rocket launchers], UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones] and aviation,” said Oleksandr Prokudin of the military administration for Kherson. “The enemy shelled the city of Kherson eight times. As a result of Russian aggression, one person died and three others, including a child, were injured.”

Russia still controls part of the Kherson region but withdrew from the regional capital of the same name in November.

Russian missiles also targeted the central city of Dnipro. Air defence crews shot down seven missiles, but 25 people sought medical help, an official of the regional council said.

The eastern city of Pavlohrad was struck twice overnight, and an industrial enterprise, 19 apartment buildings and 25 private buildings were damaged or destroyed, he said.

Ukraine’s air defence systems have been bolstered in recent months by deliveries of Western equipment, including the American Patriot missile systems received in April.

The latest Russian attacks were carried out as Kyiv prepares for a long-awaited counteroffensive, having promised to expel Russian forces from territory they seized in the east and south after their 2022 invasion.

Key events, day 432

  • Russia’s Ministry of Defence said Russian forces took control of new areas of the eastern city of Bakhmut, where much of the fighting is concentrated.
  • The head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group has threatened to withdraw his troops from Bakhmut because of rising casualties.
  • A Ukrainian military spokesperson said Kyiv remained in control of a key supply route into Bakhmut. The “road of life” is a vital route between the ruined city and the nearby town of Chasiv Yar to the west, a distance of 17km (11 miles).
  • At least four civilians were killed and two injured in Ukrainian shelling of a village in Russia’s Bryansk region, the regional governor said.
  • Russia said a drone attack caused a fire at a fuel storage facility in the Crimean port of Sevastopol. Andriy Yusov, a Ukrainian military intelligence official, told RBC Ukraine that more than 10 tanks of oil products were destroyed, but he did not claim responsibility for the attack.
  • The Russian army replaced its highest ranking general in charge of logistics ahead of an expected counteroffensive by Kyiv. Russia’s defence ministry did not say why Mikhail Mizintsev was replaced after just seven months on the job.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies