- Ukraine says Russia has stepped up its air strikes
- A person was wounded in the central region – the mayor
- All incoming missiles were shot down – city officials
KIEV (Reuters) – Explosions reverberated across Kiev on Monday as Russia launched its 16th air assault on the Ukrainian capital this month, hours after firing dozens of missiles and drones overnight.
Terrified residents, some of whom initially ignored air raid sirens as they ate breakfast in cafes, rushed for cover as trails of smoke and blast clouds filled the sky.
The authorities said all the Russian missiles were shot down, but one person in the central Podil region was taken to hospital. No major damage has been reported.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said explosions were heard in central districts of the capital and emergency services were dispatched.
“The attack on Kiev continues. Do not leave the shelters!” It was written on the Telegram messaging app.
Valery Zaluzhny, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, said Ukraine shot down 11 cruise and ballistic missiles launched in Monday’s second attacks on Kiev.
Heavy air strikes six hours ago targeted the capital, grounding five Ukrainian planes in the west of the country and causing a fire in the Black Sea port of Odessa.
“I would say that there has been a serious revitalization and revitalization … There are fewer missiles flying, but the regularity of strikes has increased,” Air Force spokesman Yuri Ahnat said.
He said Russia’s main targets are usually Western weapons stockpiles, energy facilities and government buildings, but the fact that missiles were shot down over Kiev made it difficult to pinpoint their target on Monday.
Russia has increased the frequency of air strikes while Ukraine is preparing to launch a counterattack.
Kiev metro stations were packed with people taking shelter even though many residents ignored the air raid alert until they heard explosions in the city centre.
A local television report from a busy highway intersection showed the wreckage of a missile that appeared to have hit a traffic light.
Additional reporting by Olena Harmash and Dan Belichuk, writing by Tom Palmforth; Edited by Timothy Heritage
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