Ukrainian personnel fire an SPG-9 anti-tank grenade launcher towards Russian troops in Avdiivka.—Reuters
Ukrainian personnel fire an SPG-9 anti-tank grenade launcher towards Russian troops in Avdiivka.—Reuters

KYIV: Ending nearly two months of relative calm in the Ukrainian capital, a missile targeted Kyiv on Saturday without causing casualties, as frontline regions fended off waves of drone attacks overnight.

“Just between yesterday evening and this morning, (Russia launched) almost 40 drones and rockets… Ballistic attacks against Kyiv, drones, and rockets against Odesa, the Kharkiv region,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

A missile targeted Kyiv “after a long pause of 52 days,” said the head of the Kyiv city military administration Sergiy Popko.

AFP journalists in central Kyiv had heard two strong explosions and saw trails in the sky at dawn. Air sirens sounded soon after that.

The air force said it destroyed a missile approaching Kyiv — either an Iskander ballistic missile or an S-400 anti-aircraft missile — without reporting casualties.

Air defences last downed a missile in Kyiv on September 21. The falling debris wounded seven people, including a child.

Two missiles hit a field between two settlements in the wider Kyiv region, damaging five private homes, said regional military administration chief Ruslan Kravchenko said.

The air force said it downed 19 of the 31 drones launched by Moscow between Friday evening and early hours of Saturday morning.

“The Russian occupants sent most of the attack UAVs to the frontline areas,” it said.

It claimed that Russia fired several missiles overnight, but did not specify if any were downed. Two missiles hit Odesa, wounding three people.

Ukrainian officials say Russia may pick up its campaign of strikes on energy infrastructures, but warn that Kyiv would strike back on Russian oil and gas infrastructure.

Energy Minister German Galushchenko, in an interview with Politico, said it “would be fair” to target Russia’s oil and gas infrastructure if Ukraine’s power grid came under sustained attacks.

Earlier on Tuesday, Zelensky said Ukraine had deployed more defence systems to prepare for possible attacks on energy facilities.

Meanwhile, in a message on the anniversary of Kherson’s recapture by Ukrainian forces, Zelen-sky praised resilience of residents and soldiers. “Ukraine always comes back — always!” Zelensky said, adding, “when we are united. And when we unite others.”

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2023

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