Russia launches the first drone strike on Kyiv in 12 days and all are shot down

FILE - Ukrainian air defense intercepts a Shahed drone mid-air in the third Russia aerial attack on the capital in the last 24 hours in Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 30, 2023. When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Ukraines military was largely reliant on Soviet-era weaponry. While that arsenal helped Ukraine fend off an assault on the capital of Kyiv and prevent a total rout in the early weeks of the war, billions of dollars in military assistance has , since poured into the country, including more modern Western-made weapons. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka, File) (Evgeniy Maloletka, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

KYIV – After a relative lull, Russia launched a drone attack early Sunday on Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, officials said. It was the first such attack of the war in 12 days.

All of the Iranian-made Shahed exploding drones were detected and shot down, according to Serhii Popko, the head of the Kyiv city administration. In addition to the city itself, the surrounding Kyiv region was targeted. Kyiv regional Gov. Ruslan Kravchenko reported that one person was wounded by falling debris from a destroyed drone.

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Officials in the Ukrainian capital didn't provide an exact number of drones that attacked the city. But Ukraine's air force said that across the country, eight Shaheds and three Kalibr cruise missiles were launched by the Russians.

Further south, a 13-year-old boy was wounded in overnight shelling of Ukraine’s partially occupied southern Kherson province, said Oleksandr Tolokonnikov, spokesman for the Ukrainian administration of the province.

The child was wounded when the Russian army shelled the village of Mylove on the banks of the Dnieper River in the Beryslav district, Tolokonnikov said.

“The child was hospitalized, there is no threat to his life,” Tolokonnikov added,” he said on state TV.

Shelling of Kherson province continued Sunday morning, wounding four people in the regional capital, also called Kherson. The regional prosecutor’s office said that a residential area of the city was targeted by Russian troops operating in the Russia-occupied part of the Kherson province. “

"At least four citizens were wounded, two of them due to a targeted strike on a high-rise building,” the office wrote on Telegram.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s military reported that the most intense fighting continued in Ukraine’s industrial east, with attacks focused around Bakhmut, Marinka and Lyman in the country’s Donetsk province, where 46 combat clashes took place.

Ukrainian forces were advancing amid a “massive offensive” on the southern and northern flanks of the destroyed city of Bakhmut, Ukraine’s Eastern Group of Forces spokesman Serhii Cherevaty told Ukrainian state television. But he didn't mention how much progress they made. The details, he said, would be disclosed once Ukrainian forces had analyzed the situation and consolidated their positions.

In its regular update Sunday morning, the General Staff said that over the previous 24 hours, Russia had carried out 27 airstrikes, one missile strike and around 80 attacks from multiple rocket launchers, targeting regions in the north, northeast, east and south of the country.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the Black Sea port city of Odesa on Sunday — the day the country honors its navy — to hear a report from the navy commander, discuss prospects for the development of a naval drone and missile program, as well as present awards to service members.

In Russia, local officials reported that air defense systems shot down a drone over the Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, while the neighboring Kursk region faced shelling attacks. No casualties or damage were reported.

Following the drama of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s rebellion last week, Russian authorities remained defiant. Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, said Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin came out of this situation “having strengthened his position even more both in the country and in the world.”

Russian society, he said, “having passed this test, has shown its maturity.” According to Volodin, there was “not a single example of someone supporting the rebellion.”

But Gen. Sergei Surovikin, the deputy commander of the Russian group of forces fighting in Ukraine, was believed to have been detained days after the mutiny. It’s not clear whether Surovikin, who has longtime links to Prigozhin, faces any charges or where he is being held, reflecting the opaque world of the Kremlin’s politics and uncertainty after the revolt.

Writing on Telegram, Volodin said that the Russian president “did everything to prevent bloodshed and confusion,” including explaining to Wagner fighters “the real state of affairs.” “(Putin) suggested that those who want to defend Russia continue their service with weapons in their hands. As far as I know, many of them agreed to this,” Volodin said.

In addition, the speaker of the State Duma said that he had analyzed the “challenges” Russia faced in the past, affirming that if “someone like Putin” had been leading the country in 1917 and 1991, there wouldn't have been a revolution in Russia, and the USSR wouldn't have collapsed.

But independent observers and analysts say that Putin may come out politically weakened after first announcing that Wagner would face harsh repercussions, only to later say that the group’s forces wouldn’t face prosecution. Prigozhin was also allowed to leave Russia for Belarus.

Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said Sunday that Poland would send 500 police officers to join 5,000 border guards and 2,000 soldiers already on the country’s border with Belarus. It follows an announcement earlier this week that Poland would strengthen defenses on its eastern border after the relocation of Wagner fighters to Belarus.


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