KYIV — Explosions rocked the skies above Kyiv as Russian forces carried out rare daytime air strikes on the Ukrainian capital hours after bombarding it overnight with missile and drone attacks.
The drama, visible in the skies over the city, started soon after air-raid sirens wailed at 11 a.m. in Kyiv on May 29, prompting many to seek shelter in subway stations and basements, an RFE/RL correspondent in the city reported.
“Blasts could be seen in the sky from several places in the city, including downtown Kyiv,” the correspondent said. “The explosions set off car alarms across the city, and loud booms could be heard, [possibly] from rockets being shot down by air defenses,” he added.
Eyewitnesses said they heard at least 10 explosions in Kyiv, as the sky above the city filled with blast clouds and smoke trails.
Speaking to RFE/RL near a subway station in Kyiv’s Podil district, several locals said air raids had become the reality of their everyday lives since the war began.
“These attacks are yet another problem we have to deal with because of this war,” pensioner Ivan Chihir said.
Another resident, Karyna Lypytska, said she takes shelter in the corridors of her home when air raid sirens go off. Lypytska said she fears that the air strikes will likely continnue for some time.
A military officer who didn’t want to give his name told RFE/RL that the latest Russian attack on Kyiv was a “failure” because Ukraine’s defense system managed to repel it completely.
The city’s military administration said that air defenses shot down all 11 Iskander missiles launched by Russia at Kyiv in the daytime attack. The claim could not be independently verified.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said emergency services had been dispatched to “respond to a call near the center of the city.” He urged residents to shelter in place, saying that “the attack on Kyiv continues.”
“The enemy used missiles of a ballistic trajectory — preliminarily Iskanders. There is a possibility that S-300 and S-400 missiles were also used,” Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat told Ukrainian media.
Bolstered by sophisticated Western-supplied equipment, Ukrainian air defenses have been adept at thwarting Russian air attacks — both drones and aircraft missiles.
Russia has intensified missile and drone strikes on Ukraine after a lull of nearly two months, targeting military facilities and supplies with waves of attacks several times a week.
On May 28, Kyiv came under what Ukrainian officials described as the “largest” drone attack on the city since the start of the war. That attack was “carried out in several waves, and the air alert lasted more than five hours,” according to Serhiy Popko, the head of Kyiv’s military administration.
Elsewhere, the governor of Russia’s Belgorod region that borders Ukraine’s Kharkiv region said on May 29 that Ukrainian forces were shelling several border settlements.
Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Telegram that two industrial facilities in the border town of Shebekino had been shelled and four employees had been wounded.
Several villages were left without electricity in the aftermath of the shelling, he added.
Belgorod has repeatedly come under attacks from Ukrainian forces since the Russian invasion began in February 2022.
Source : Rferl