Explosive suicide drones rock Ukraine's capital, hitting residential buildings
Updated October 17, 2022 at 6:11 AM ET
KYIV—Explosions rang out across Ukraine's capital early Monday, a week after nation-wide strikes rocked the city for the first time since June.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said five drones struck central Kyiv in the morning attack and appeared to be targeting energy infrastructure. A four-story residential building and energy facilities near Kyiv's busy train station were damaged in the attack.
Volodymyr Grytsan was leaving the train station and talking to a friend when the drones buzzed low overhead. "Police started firing at it with assault rifles and machine guns and then it suddenly turned towards us and we ran underground," he said. People were leaping over security gates and running up escalators with their luggage, seeking shelter.
Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said 18 people were pulled from the rubble of one residential building. Bulldozers could be seen driving past a police cordon that had been set up on the street. Smoke could be seen coming from at least two buildings.
At least four people were hospitalized and at least three people were killed in the attack, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, a top emergency response adviser to Ukraine's President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
"The enemy can attack our cities, but it won't be able to break us. The occupiers will get only fair punishment and condemnation of future generations, and we will get victory," wrote Zelenskyy.
Zelenskyy's chief-of-staff, Andriy Yermak, again called on the west to provide Ukraine with more air defense systems. "We have no time for slow actions," he said online.
Many Kyiv residents, including some of NPR's Ukrainian staff, recorded videos of Ukrainian air defense systems firing at drones over the city.
Yermak said the drones were Shahed models, known for crashing into the targets with explosive payloads. Ukraine estimates that Russia ordered 2,400 of the drones from Iran, a number that overwhelms Ukrainian air defense systems. As of 10am, Ukraine's Air Force claims to have shot down 11 drones. Klitschko said that 28 drones were detected in the Kyiv region on Monday morning.
Klitshchko posted a photo of shrapnel labeled "Geran-2," Russian's designation for the Iranian drones, but he removed the picture after commenters criticized him for confirming a Russian strike.
European Union foreign ministers are scheduled to meet today in Luxembourg. Before the meeting, Josep Borrell, the EU's top diplomat, told reporters that the bloc would look into "concrete evidence" of Iran's involvement in Ukraine.
Iran has denied supplying weapons to the war.
Additional reporting by Kateryna Malofieieva.
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