Explosive suicide drones rock Ukraine's capital, hitting residential buildings
Updated October 17, 2022 at 4:17 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.
Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said at least two Russian airstrikes targeted downtown Kyiv. Two more also hit the city, according to Ukraine's public broadcaster.
Klitschko's office says several residential buildings were damaged. He added that rescuers pulled 18 people from the rubble of one building and are looking for two more. Many of the city's central streets are closed for emergency services to respond.
Anton Gerashcenko, a spokesman for Ukraine's Internal Ministry, reported attacks on infrastructure near the city's main rail station, but lines were operating as normal midmorning Monday.
""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 Ukraine's President Volodymyr 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 local 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.
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.
Additional reporting by Kateryna Malofieieva
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