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Russia Targets Kyiv With Third Wave of Strikes in 24 Hours, Killing One - New York Times - 30.05.23

The attack came after a rare daytime assault on Monday. Russia has stepped up attacks on the capital this month as Ukraine prepares for a counter-offensive.

KYIV, Ukraine — Russia targeted the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, with yet another wave of attack drones early Tuesday, killing at least one person, setting residential buildings ablaze and extending a day of terror for the city’s residents.

For the second night in a row and the 17th this month, explosions in different parts of Kyiv jolted people out of bed and sent them scurrying for cover as Moscow launched a new assault on the city of 3.6 million.

Ukraine’s Air Force said on Tuesday that air defense teams shot down 29 of 31 Iranian-made drones launched by Russia overnight, with most targeting Kyiv.

A 33-year-old woman was killed by falling debris during the attack and at least 13 people were injured, Ivan Vyhivskyi, the acting chief of the National Police, said in a statement.

While Kyiv has been attacked since the first days of the war, the pace and intensity of the assaults in May have been jarring even for civilians now used to spending long hours in bomb shelters and sleepless nights huddled in corridors.

The State of the War

Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, in an appearance on national television, captured the anger of many in the city. “If the Russians can make Kyiv a nightmare, why do the people of Moscow rest?”

Not long after Mr. Klitschko spoke, Russian officials accused Ukraine of launching a drone attack on Moscow. There was no comment from Ukraine’s military, which has maintained a policy of strategic ambiguity about strikes in Russia. But Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, said that Kyiv was not “directly involved.”

Yulia Honcharova, a Kyiv resident, reacted to the news of the Moscow attack with a mix of anger and defiance. “I’m not among those who believes that we should bomb their residential quarters at night, but I do want them to feel what it is like to live under constant alarms like people live in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro,” she said.

Ukrainian officials have said the concentrated attacks on Kyiv are most likely aimed at wearing down air defense systems so as to make the capital more vulnerable and at exhausting civilians.

Serhiy Popko, the head of the Kyiv military administration, said that people in the city were reeling from attacks that were separated by hours, not days.

“In the last 24 hours, the enemy has already carried out three attacks,” he said on Tuesday morning.

Before dawn on Tuesday, Russia targeted Kyiv with more than three dozen drones and cruise missiles fired from multiple directions to try to confuse air defense systems.

Then, less than six hours later, Moscow launched a rare daytime barrage of ballistic missiles at the city, sending residents, including schoolchildren carrying their backpacks, running for cover.

The largely successful work of Ukraine’s air defense teams this month has saved scores of lives and limited the damage from the strikes.

But drones and missiles still pose a danger to civilians as debris rains down on the streets below.

“Everything that is destroyed in the sky, unfortunately, flies to the ground and brings suffering to people,” Mykola Oleschuk, commander of Ukraine’s air force, said in a statement on Tuesday morning.

Russia has stepped up attacks on Kyiv as Ukraine is gearing up for a counteroffensive.

Mr. Zelensky, in his overnight speech to the nation on Monday, said that each “terrorist attack” against the capital and other cities “brings us and the whole world to an obvious conclusion: Russia wants to follow the path of evil to the end.”

Vowing to respond to Russian aggression on the battlefield, Mr. Zelensky said his government had approved the dates for the start of the offensive operations.

“The decisions have been made,” he said.

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Russia Targets Kyiv With Third Wave of Strikes in 24 Hours, Killing One – The New York Tim
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Anna Lukinova and Nataliia Novosolova contributed reporting.

Marc Santora is the international news editor based in London, focusing on breaking news events. He was previously the bureau chief for East and Central Europe, based in Warsaw. He has also reported extensively from Iraq and Africa. @MarcSantoraNYT

Victoria Kim is a correspondent based in Seoul, focused on international breaking news coverage. @vicjkim

Residents outside an apartment building damaged by a Russian drone strike, in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Tuesday. Credit...Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

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