The Guardian

Explosion in Kiev as Ukrainian Air Force battles drone attack



Explosions rang out in Kiev and air alerts were issued in several other cities on Tuesday, officials said, as Ukraine's air force battled drone attacks on the capital.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported the explosion in the capital about an hour after the region's military regime announced that an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, had been detected in the city's airspace.

“Fragments of an unmanned aerial vehicle are burning in an open field in the Desnyansky district,” he said, adding that emergency services were on the scene.

As of 3:30 a.m. (0130 GMT), an air warning was in effect for Kiev, Chernihiv, Cherkasy, Mykolaiv and Kherson regions.

The mayor of Mykolaiv said the air force shot down a drone in the city and the debris caused a fire.

Also early Tuesday, the Ukrainian Air Force reported that nine Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS strategic bombers took off from a base in the far north.

“Tentatively, nine Tu-95MS strategic bombers are flying in a southeast direction from Olenya airfield (Murmansk region),” the Air Force announced.

The Air Force also reported the takeoff of a Soviet-era Tupolev Tu-95 on Dec. 29.

That day, Russia launched a series of airstrikes across Ukrainian cities, including the capital, killing 39 people.

Tuesday's drone strike came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would step up attacks on military targets in Ukraine, following an unprecedented Ukrainian attack on the Russian city of Belgorod over the weekend.

The attack on Saturday left 25 people dead, including five children.

Moscow also attacked Ukrainian cities on New Year's Eve, and Kiev announced it had intercepted a “record” number of Russian-launched drones.

Source: guardian.ng

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