Kyiv faces biggest drone attack of war so far, says Ukraine

At least five people have been injured after Russia launched the largest drone attack of the war so far on the Ukrainian capital, military officials said.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said most of the Iranian-designed Shahed kamikaze drones that targeted Kyiv in the early hours of Saturday morning were shot down.

Loud explosions were heard around 4am local time (2am GMT) across the city with the air raid siren sounding for six hours.

The drones damaged several homes and a school leaving five people wounded including an 11-year-old girl.

Ukraine’s energy ministry said nearly 200 buildings had been left without power.

Its armed forces said Russia had launched around 74 Iranian-made Shahed drones, of which 66 were destroyed by their air defences.

“Kyiv was the main target,” Ukrainian Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk said on Telegram.

The attack was “the most massive air attack by drones on Kyiv”, added Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv city administration.

Fragments from a downed drone had started a fire in a children’s nursery, said Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko.

The attack was carried out on the morning of Holodomor Memorial Day which commemorates the man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine that killed millions of Ukrainians from 1932 to 1933, and is marked on the fourth Saturday in November.

“Wilful terror… The Russian leadership is proud of the fact that it can kill,” Mr Zelensky wrote on Telegram.

On X he added: “Russia launched around 70 “Shahed” drones at Ukraine precisely on the eve of the Holodomor genocide commemoration day. Russia’s leadership appears to be proud of its ability to kill people.

“Our warriors shot down the majority of the drones, but not all of them. We keep working to strengthen our air defense and unite the world in the fight against Russian terror. The terrorist state must be defeated and held accountable for its actions.”

Ukraine fears Russia will once again wage an aerial campaign to destroy their energy system, as it sought to do last winter.

“It looks like tonight we heard the overture. The prelude to the winter season,” Serhiy Fursa, a Ukrainian economist, wrote on Facebook.

Additional reporting by Reuters and AP