Ukraine's Military Says Russia Has Launched Its Largest Drone Attack Since The Start Of The Invasion

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- Russia on Saturday morning launched its most intense drone attack on Ukraine since the beginning of its full-scale invasion in 2022, targeting the capital city for over six hours, military officials said.

"Kyiv was the main target," Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk wrote on his Telegram channel.

In total, Russia launched 75 Iranian-made Shahed drones against Ukraine, of which 74 were destroyed by air defenses, Ukraine's air force said.

The attack was "the most massive air attack by drones on Kyiv," said Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv city administration. Ukrainian air force spokesman Yurii Ihnat confirmed later that the air defenses shot down 66 air targets over the capital and surrounding region throughout the morning.

At least five civilians were wounded in the hourslong assault, which saw several buildings damaged by falling debris from downed drones, including a kindergarten. The wounded included an 11-year-old child, according to Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko.

In the city's Solomiansky district, debris left a crater in the courtyard of a residential area, and the windows of a nearby building were blown out. Residents, most of them elderly, received medical attention at the scene. Others took shelter in a nearby subway station. As people were clearing up debris and broken glass in the neighborhood, the hum of a fresh wave of drones could be heard nearby.

Residents immediately began sealing up broken windows using tape and paper to keep out the cold late November winds.

The assault on Kyiv began at 4 a.m., continuing in waves, and caused power outages in 77 residential buildings and 120 institutions, according to Popko. Ukraine's Energy Ministry said 17,000 people were without power in the Kyiv region as a result of the attack, noting that four power lines were damaged. Power was restored in the early afternoon.

"Our soldiers shot down most of the drones. Unfortunately, not all," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on Telegram. "But we continue to work to strengthen our air defense and shoot down more," he said.

The attack was carried out on the morning of Holodomor Memorial Day which commemorates the manmade famine in Soviet Ukraine that killed millions of Ukrainians from 1932 to 1933. It is marked on the fourth Saturday in November.

In addition to Kyiv, the Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv and Kirovohrad regions were also targeted.

Meanwhile, shelling killed on person and wounded three in the southern Kherson region, regional Gov. Oleksandr Prokudin said on Saturday. According to Prokudin, the region had been shelled 100 times over the previous 24 hours.