On Monday, Ukrainian officials said nearly three dozen Russian drones attacked Kyiv late Sunday night as part of a larger aerial assault on cities and towns in Ukraine, the New York Times reported.
The Ukrainian military reported shooting down all 35 drones in Sunday night’s attack, including 30 that flew over Kyiv.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a Telegram post that at least five people were injured by drone wreckage falling onto buildings.
Klitschko later told reporters that Sunday’s drone attack was “the most massive” on the city since the war began. He also claimed that the military shot down 36 drones, however, this tally does not square with the official report from the military.
The assault began just after midnight Sunday night. For the next nearly four hours, Ukraine’s air defense teams scrambled to shoot down the drones using anti-aircraft guns while Kyiv residents waited out the attack in bomb shelters, bathrooms, and hallways until the all-clear was sounded.
Sunday night’s drone attack was part of a larger offensive in which Russia fired 16 missiles at the cities of Kharkiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv, and Odesa, according to a statement from the Ukrainian military.
In the Odesa region, a warehouse housing humanitarian aid from the Ukrainian Red Cross was destroyed. The Red Cross said it was forced to suspend some of its work in the region.
In recent weeks, Russian forces have been increasing attacks on civilian targets as Moscow braces for Ukraine’s spring counteroffensive.
Officials in Kyiv have warned that Moscow may attempt to provoke an attack by Ukraine just in time for Tuesday’s annual Victory Day holiday marking the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany.
Russian President Vladimir Putin uses the annual Victory Day celebration to showcase the might of Russia’s modern military while promoting his vision of Russian nationalism.