Russia carried out overnight the largest drone attack on the city of Kyiv since Moscow launched its all-out invasion of Ukraine 15 months ago, Ukrainian military officials claimed on Sunday.
Ukraine’s air defense system shot down 52 out of 54 Russian drones, Kyiv’s air force wrote on Telegram.
“It was exceptional in its density — the maximum number of attacking missiles in the shortest period of time,” Kyiv City’s military administration wrote on Telegram.
Ukrainian officials noted that the drone strikes took place on the last Sunday of May when Kyiv marks the anniversary of its official founding 1,541 years ago.
The massive Russian attack comes as Moscow has intensified missile and drone strikes amid speculation of a looming Ukrainian counteroffensive. Ukraine’s military command called it the biggest air attack since Russia launched its war on Ukraine in February 2022.
Kyiv officials said the air strikes were carried out by Iranian-made drones and took place over several waves. The air raid alert lasted more than five hours, they said.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote on Telegram that a man was killed and a 35-year-old woman was injured in the attacks.
Russian forces also carried out overnight strikes in the Kharkiv region, killing two people, according to the regional governor.
Senior Ukrainian officials claimed that preparations for the much-anticipated counteroffensive have started.
“It’s an ongoing process of de-occupation, and certain processes are already happening, like destroying supply lines or blowing up depots behind the lines,” Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, told the Guardian.