Kiev’s air defenses shot down 40 Russian drones, and debris from the fall killed a 41-year-old man, officials said.
Russia has launched two waves of airstrikes on the Ukrainian capital Kiev, killing at least one person and wounding another, according to officials.
Kyiv’s air defenses shot down at least 40 drones heading towards the city in the early hours of Sunday, killing a 41-year-old man from falling debris, Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. man, wounding a 35-year-old woman.
“Stay in shelter. The attack is strong!” the mayor said in a telegram.
The pre-dawn attack came on the last Sunday in May, when the capital celebrated Kiev Day, the anniversary of its official founding before 1541.
The day is usually marked by street fairs, live music and special museum exhibitions – there are also planned this year, but on a smaller scale.
“Ukraine’s history has been a long-term irritant for insecure Russians,” Andrey Yelmak, chief of staff to President Volodymyr Zelensky, said on his Telegram channel.
Several districts of Kiev, Ukraine’s largest city, home to nearly 3 million people, were hit hard in the overnight attack, including the historic Pecherskyi neighbourhood, officials said.
Many stood on balconies as the air raid siren went off shortly after midnight, with some screaming barrages directed at Russian President Vladimir Putin and chants of “glory to air defense,” according to Reuters.
With a Ukrainian counteroffensive looming 15 months after the war began, Moscow this month stepped up missile and drone strikes targeting military installations and supplies after a near two-month lull.
Attack waves are now coming several times a week.
In the leafy Holosiivskyi district southwest of Kiev, falling debris ignited a three-storey warehouse on Sunday, destroying about 1,000 square meters (10,800 square feet) of the structure, according to the mayor.
Debris from the falling drone hit a seven-story non-residential building in the city’s western Solomyanskyi district, igniting the fire. The area is a busy hub for rail and air traffic.
In the Pecherskyi district, a fire broke out on the roof of a nine-storey building due to falling debris from a drone, Kiev military and political officials said in a telegram.
Reports of Russian drone strikes have also multiplied over the past few weeks, mainly in areas bordering Ukraine.
Shelling in those areas killed two people on Saturday, local authorities said.
Moscow blames Kiev and its Western backers for escalating attacks and sabotage, including on the Kremlin, but Ukraine denies any involvement.