Air raid alerts for Kyiv, two-thirds of Ukraine

Russia has stepped up night time aerial attacks over the past week ahead of a renewed Ukrainian counteroffensive.

The view from the window of a heavily damaged flat in Kyiv. The window is silhouetted. There are other buildings behind.
Russia began its latest air campaign against Ukraine at the end of April [Genya Savilov/AFP]

Air raid sirens have been heard in the capital Kyiv and across two-thirds of Ukraine continuing more than a week of a renewed Russian air campaign.

Ukrainian emergency services issued air raid alerts for Kyiv and most of central and eastern Ukraine early on Tuesday, extending from Vynnitsya in the west to all eastern regions and south to Kherson and the Odesa region on the Black Sea, the Reuters news agency reported.

Officials in Kyiv said the city’s air defences were working to repel the attack.

At least four people were killed on Monday as Russia sent a wave of drones and missiles into Ukraine in the early hours of the morning.

It stepped up its air campaign on April 28 amid reports that Kyiv would soon launch a new counteroffensive to retake lands occupied by Russia.

The United Nations has said at least 8,791 civilians have been killed since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year. Thousands more have been wounded and millions forced from their homes.

For months, Russia has been engaged in a desperate battle for control of the ruined eastern city of Bakhmut, which it sees as the key to its further advance in the east.

The Wagner mercenary group has been leading the attack and Yevgeny Prigozhin, the group’s chief, has released a series of profanity-laden videos recently, blaming Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov for withholding ammunition.

On Tuesday, he released another video saying the weaponry had still not arrived.

“The people who were supposed to fulfil the (shipment) orders have so far, over the past day, not fulfilled them,” Prigozhin said in the Telegram post.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to preside over Victory Day celebrations in Moscow later on Tuesday when he is expected to address thousands of troops standing to attention in Moscow’s Red Square.

The traditional military parade marks the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany in 1945.

At least six post-Soviet leaders including the prime minister of Armenia and the president of Kazakhstan are expected to attend the event this year.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies