Air raid sirens sound in Kiev as Russia launches kamikaze drone strikes

Kiev, Ukraine

A wave of suicide drone attacks hit Kiev early Monday, triggering warning sirens as commuters headed to work in the Ukrainian capital.

The attacks on Kyiv appear to be part of a wider drone and cruise missile attack. Ukraine’s Air Force said it destroyed 26 Iranian-made kamikaze drones in the south and east of the country early Monday. Attacks in the east targeted crucial infrastructure.

Kamikaze drones or suicide drones are small, portable aerial weapon systems that are difficult to detect and can be launched from a distance. They can be fired easily and are designed to hit behind enemy lines and destroy them on the offensive.

In Kiev, explosions were heard before 6:45 am, including in the Shevchenkivskyi district of the city. Since 9 a.m., Kiev has been hit four times, officials said. One of the strikes hit near Kiev’s main train station, Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister. Authorities have asked people to stay indoors.

“Kamikaze drones and missiles are attacking the whole of Ukraine,” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said. “The enemy may attack our cities, but he will not be able to break us. The occupiers will only receive fair punishment and condemnation from future generations. And we will win.”

It is not clear how many people have been killed, but at least two people are trapped under the rubble of a destroyed building, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

Monday’s attack comes a week after Russia began two days of intense nationwide bombing in Ukraine that killed at least 19 people and leveled civilian targets, sparking global outrage. The strike also caused extensive damage to electricity systems across Ukraine, forcing people to reduce consumption to avoid blackouts during peak hours.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said a “more massive” strike was not needed for now. However, Russian attacks over the weekend killed 11 civilians: eight in eastern Donetsk region, two in southern Zaporizhzhia region and one in northeastern Kharkiv.

The city of Zaporizhzhia was attacked with kamikaze drones and missiles on Saturday, while Kyiv was hit by an apparent Russian rocket.