Ukrainian air defenses thwarted an intense Russian air attack on Kyiv early Tuesday, shooting down all 18 missiles aimed at the capital.
Loud explosions boomed over Kyiv as the nighttime attack combined Russian missiles launched from the air, sea and land in an apparent attempt to overwhelm Ukraine’s air defenses. No casualties were reported.
Russia’s latest attack on Kyiv was “exceptional in its density — the maximum number of attacking missiles in the shortest period of time,” said Serhii Popko, the head of the Kyiv military administration.
The British ambassador to Ukraine, Melinda Simmons, tweeted that the barrage was “pretty intense.”
“Bangs and shaking walls are not an easy night,” she wrote.
It was the eighth time this month that Russian air raids had targeted the capital, a clear escalation after weeks of lull and ahead of a much-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive.
It also came as President Volodymyr Zelenksyy concluded a whirlwind European tour to greet Ukraine’s key wartime allies, which spurred an additional tranche of pledged military aid.
Ukraine’s Air Force said 18 missiles of various types were launched, including drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. All were intercepted, said Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat.
Six “Kinzhal” aero-ballistic missiles were launched from MiG-31K aircraft, nine cruise missiles from ships in the Black Sea and three land-based S-400 cruise missiles targeted the capital, Ihnat said in a statement on Telegram.
After the first onslaught, Russia also launched Iranian-made Shahed attack drones and conducted aerial reconnaissance, Ihnat said.
Debris fell across several districts in the capital. In the Solomyansky district, starting a fire in a non-residential building.
Debris set cars on fire and fell on the grounds of a zoo, but no losses were reported, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.
The barrage came as European leaders were due to attend a rare summit of the 46-nation Council of Europe, the continent’s main human rights body.
The two-day meeting in Iceland seeks to set up a way of logging damage in Ukraine caused by the Kremlin’s forces so compensation claims can be lodged against Moscow.