Russian drones and ballistic missiles have attacked Ukraine’s capital early Tuesday in what the defence forces called an exceptionally complex strike, a day after President Volodymyr Zelensky said he would return from a European tour with a restocked weapons arsenal.
The Kyiv City Military Administration said Tuesday’s attack is the eighth on the capital this month which involved drones, cruise missiles and probably ballistic missiles launched “from different directions simultaneously”.
Solomyansky district of Kyiv, home to the international airport, was the most heavily damaged, with a fire breaking out in a non-residential building.
According to Telegram posts by Mayor Vitali Klitschko, three people were injured in Solomyansky, while missile debris fell on Obolonsky district, a leafy outer suburb.
The latest attack on Kyiv follows Zelensky’s collection of a slew of fresh arms delivery pledges from Berlin, Paris and London, deepening a military arrangement between the West and Ukraine that has helped put Russia on the back foot.
After his whirlwind tour of major European capitals, Zelensky tweeted on Monday that he was “returning home with new defence packages”.
Ukrainian forces are widely believed to be gearing up for a long-awaited counter-offensive against Russian troops, with gains already claimed around the flashpoint of Bakhmut.
Zelensky has yet to succeed in his coveted goal of enlisting Western fighter jets to seize command of the skies, although UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Monday preparations to open a flight school to train Ukrainian pilots.
France, too, has offered to train Ukrainian fighter pilots, though President Emmanuel Macron ruled out sending warplanes to Kyiv.
And while Russia’s ally China vies to act as a peace broker, sending an envoy to Kyiv this week, Moscow’s reported attempt to acquire more drones with military collaborator Iran has caused ire in Washington.
“This is a full-scale defence partnership that is harmful to Ukraine, to the region in the Middle East, and to the international community,” US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Monday, adding that further sanctions would soon be announced.