Russia has launched new drone attacks in Ukraine, striking targets in the capital Kyiv and other areas.
A series of explosions hit Kyiv on Monday, setting buildings on fire, and sending people to look for shelter.
The increase in drone attacks followed an intense wave of strikes by Russian forces last week that hit Kyiv and other cities across the country. Those attacks involved missiles and drones.
Ukrainian officials said energy centers were hit by Monday’s drone attacks. A housing building was also reportedly struck, killing at least three people, The Associated Press reported.
A pregnant woman was among those killed in the attack on the housing structure, Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said. Ukraine's Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi said there had been deaths in other cities, but he did not provide a total count.
"I have never been so afraid...It is murder, it is simply murder, there are no other words for it," said 29-year-old Vitalii Dushevskiy. He lives in the building that was hit. The driver’s roommate, who gave his name only as Nazar, said when they had tried to leave, they found the building’s steps "all gone."
In a nearby neighborhood, 52-year-old Elena Mazur searched for her mother. She said her mother had been able to call her to say that she was buried under debris caused by an attack. "She is not picking up the phone," Mazur said. She hoped that her mother had been rescued and was taken to a hospital.
Ukraine said the attacks were carried out by Iranian-made “suicide drones.” The drones are designed to fly toward a target and then explode. Russia's defense ministry said it had carried out a "massive" attack on military targets and energy centers across Ukraine. Military officials said Russian forces had used “long-range air- and sea-based high-precision weapons” and that “all assigned targets” were hit.
Russian forces also struck energy equipment elsewhere. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Monday attacks on important infrastructure left hundreds of settlements without power in the Dnipropetrovsk and Sumy areas.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke about the latest Russian attacks on the Telegram messaging app. "All night and all morning the enemy terrorizes the civilian population,” he said. “Kamikaze drones and missiles are attacking all of Ukraine."
Zelenskyy added that the attacks would not be able to “break” Ukraine, and he promised his country would “get victory" in the end.
Andrii Yermak, head of Ukraine’s presidential office, posted on social media that Iranian-made Shahed drones were used in some of the attacks.
Zelenskyy said recently Ukrainian intelligence services had estimated that Russia ordered about 2,400 of the drones from Iran. Russia is calling them Geran-2 drones, meaning “geranium” in Russian. A geranium is a flowering plant. A photo of debris from one of Monday's strikes, posted by Klitschko, showed the word Geran-2 marked on part of the exploded drone.
In the past, Iran has denied it provides weapons to Russia. But the chief of the country’s Revolutionary Guard has said it does provide arms to the world’s top powers, without naming nations.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on the European Union to place new economic restrictions on Iran for providing drones to Russia. Kuleba said the new attacks demonstrate that Ukraine is in great need of air defense systems and ammunition.
On Monday, the EU approved a military training program for thousands of Ukrainian troops in Europe. The EU also plans to provide $486 million in assistance to help buy weapons for Ukraine.
I’m Bryan Lynn.
The Associated Press and Reuters reported this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the reports for VOA Learning English.
Words in This Story
drone – n. an unpiloted aircraft
debris – n. broken or torn pieces of something larger
high-precision – adj. being extremely accurate or exact
kamikaze – adj. a sudden, violent attach
infrastructure – n. the basic equipment and structures (such as roads and bridges) needed for a country or area to operate
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