Air raid sirens sounded in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, as Russia continued its bombing of the city for a second night in a row.
Ukrainian officials said that early Monday, drone attacks targeted critical infrastructure in and around Kyiv, injuring at least one person.
“It’s noisy in the region and in the capital, night drone attacks,” said Oleksiy Kuleba, governor of the Kyiv region.
The Russians launched several waves of [Iranian-made] Drones. targeting critical infrastructure,” he wrote on messaging app Telegram.
“Our air defense forces are working on the targets,” he added. “The main thing now is to stay calm and stay in the shelters until the alarm goes off.”
The attacks followed a barrage of Russian missiles and drones that struck Kyiv and other cities on New Year’s Eve and the beginning of the new year. At least three people were killed in the attacks that took place in Kyiv and other towns on Saturday, while another person was killed. In an offensive in the southern region of Zaporizhia.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said at least one person was injured in Monday’s attack after drone debris destroyed a building in the Desnyansky district, northeast of the city. He said in Telegram that the victim was 19 years old.
The neighborhood, located on the left bank of the Dnieper River, is above all a residential district and the most populous sector of the capital.
Al Jazeera could not independently verify the information.
By 3 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) on Monday, Ukrainian air defense systems had destroyed 20 air targets over Kyiv, the city’s military department said. The siren sounded more than four hours ago.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that his country’s forces shot down a total of 45 Iranian drones launched by Russia on the first night of the year. He praised the Ukrainians for showing their gratitude to the troops and to each other.
Of the Russians, he said: “Drones and missiles and everything else won’t help them.”Because we are united. They are united only by fear. »
Russia’s Defense Ministry said it targeted Ukrainian drone production, storage and launch sites with long-range missiles on New Year’s Eve.
Russia has razed Ukrainian towns and killed thousands of civilians since President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion in February, claiming Ukraine is a fake state and its pro-Western stance threatens Russia’s security.
Moscow has since claimed to have annexed about a fifth of Ukraine.
Ukraine responded with Western military support, pushing Russian forces from more than half of the territory it occupied. In recent weeks, the front lines have been largely static, with thousands of soldiers killed in intense trench warfare.
Since October, Russia has launched missile and drone attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, plunging cities into darkness and cold as winter sets in. Moscow says the strikes were aimed at limiting Ukraine’s ability to respond. Kyiv says it has no military purpose and aims to harm civilians, which is a war crime.
In his New Year’s address, Putin indicated that he had been tough in his attacks on Ukraine.
“The main thing is the fate of Russia,” he said in a stern speech to a group in uniform, rather than against the turbulent backdrop of the Kremlin walls.
Defending the homeland is a sacred duty of our grandfathers and grandchildren. Moral and historical correctness is on our side. »