Russia attacks Ukraine’s Kyiv as fierce battles rage in Donetsk

Russia launches first overnight drone attack on Kyiv in 12 days as Ukrainian officials report more civilian casualties in the front-line Donetsk region.

Ukrainian servicemen of the 3rd separate assault brigade fire a 82mm mortar towards Russian positions at the front line, near Bakhmut, Donetsk region
Ukrainian servicemen of the 3rd separate assault brigade fire a 82mm mortar towards Russian positions at the front line, near Bakhmut, Donetsk region [Alex Babenko/AP Photo]

Russia has launched an overnight drone attack on Kyiv after a 12-day break, according to a senior Ukrainian official, with air defence systems preliminarily destroying all targets on their approach.

“Another enemy attack on Kyiv,” Serhiy Popko, a colonel general who heads Kyiv’s military administration, said in a post on the Telegram channel early on Sunday.

“At this moment, there is no information about possible casualties or damage,” he said.

The Reuters news agency reported blasts resembling the sound of air defence systems hitting targets in Kyiv.

The Ukrainian capital and a number of central and eastern Ukrainian regions were under air raid alerts for about an hour after 2am local time (23:00 GMT).

There was no immediate information about the scale of the attack.

It came a day after Ukrainian officials reported more civilian casualties from Russian shelling in the country’s east and south.

In the eastern front-line Donetsk region, at least three civilians were killed and 17 wounded on Friday and overnight on Saturday, according to Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.

The Ukrainian General Staff reported that fierce clashes continued in three areas in Donetsk where it said Russia has massed troops and attempted to advance. It named the outskirts of three cities – Bakhmut, Lyman and Marinka – as front-line hot spots.

In Ukraine’s southern Kherson region, five people including a child were wounded on Friday as well as in overnight attacks, according to Governor Oleksandr Prokudin.

He said that Russian forces launched 82 artillery, drone, mortar shell and rocket attacks on the province, which is cut in two by a stretch of the 1,500km (930 mile) front line and still reeling from flooding unleashed by the collapse earlier this month of a major Dnipro River dam.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine’s northwest, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting of the country’s top military command and atomic energy officials at the Rivne nuclear power plant to discuss “the security of our northern regions and our measures to strengthen them”.

Zelenkyy’s trip to Rivne was a rare journey for the Ukrainian leader to an area relatively far from the fighting.

But it is near the border with Belarus, where Russia’s Wagner mercenaries have a deal to go after last week’s aborted uprising. Their leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was offered the option of resettling in Belarus, on Ukraine’s northern border.

Separately, earlier on Saturday, Zelenskyy warned that a “serious threat” remained at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine’s south and said Russia was “technically ready” to provoke a localised explosion at the facility.

He cited Ukrainian intelligence as the source of his information.

Energoatom, Ukraine’s nuclear power authority, said on Friday it had conducted two days of exercises simulating the effects of an attack on the Zaporizhzhia plant.

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, issued a statement describing the Ukrainian allegations as “simply preposterous”.

The facility, located near the city of Enerhodar in southern Ukraine, has been occupied by Russia since shortly after Moscow’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Source: News Agencies