Kyiv weathers ‘unprecedented’ wave of Russian missiles

  • Ukraine said it destroyed 29 out of 30 cruise Russian missiles launched overnight. 
  • This follows Kyiv’s claims it shot down 6 hypersonic missiles earlier this week. 
  • Separately, a train carrying grain derailed in the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula. 

Ukraine said on Thursday it had downed nearly an entire barrage of Russian missiles overnight, the latest in an “unprecedented” wave of aerial attacks on the capital Kyiv.

The defence ministry said Russian forces had launched 30 cruise missiles from land, sea and air, targeting several regions and killing one person in Odesa.

The military said its air defence units had destroyed 29 of the cruise missiles and shot down four drones.

“A series of air attacks on Kyiv, unprecedented in their power, intensity and variety, is continuing,” said Serhii Popko, head of Kyiv’s civil and military administration.

The attack follows other recent barrages in which Ukraine claimed to have downed several advanced Russian Kinzhal missiles.

The United States also confirmed that one of its Patriot air defence systems supplied to Kyiv had been damaged, following claims by Russia its forces had fully destroyed one of the advanced systems.

READ | Ukraine claims it shot down volley of Russian ‘hypersonic missiles’

In Ukraine’s southern port city of Odesa, one person was killed and two were wounded after a missile hit industrial infrastructure, the military said.

In Kyiv, officials reported explosions in the Desnyansky district and said a fire had broken out at a business in the Darnytskyi neighbourhood as a result of falling debris.

The military also reported “cruise missile” attacks in the central Vinnytsia region, while local media reported explosions in Khmelnytskyi, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) further west.

G7 leaders meanwhile arrived in Hiroshima in Japan to weigh tighter sanctions on Russia, surrounded by reminders about the harrowing cost of war.

Train derailment

An EU official said the leaders meeting in Japan would discuss sanctioning Russia’s billion-dollar trade in diamonds, hoping to further starve Moscow of funds for its war in Ukraine.

“We believe we need to limit exports from Russian trade in this sector,” the official said.

Separately, a train carrying grain derailed in the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula in what Moscow-installed officials on Thursday called a deliberate act.

“Train carriages loaded with grain derailed in the Simferopol region,” said Crimea governor Sergei Aksyonov. The railway operator said the incident was caused by “the intervention of third parties”.

Telegram channel Mash, which claims to have sources close to Russian law enforcement, said the disruption was caused an explosive device that left a large crater.

One regional parliament member also said the incident was caused by an explosive device, without giving evidence.

Baza, another Russian Telegram outlet with police sources, distributed images of what it said was the aftermath of the incident, showing several overturned rail cars.

Earlier this month, explosive devices derailed two Russian trains in a region bordering Ukraine over consecutive days.

Crimea, annexed from Ukraine in 2014, has been hit intermittently by explosions at military facilities in incidents since Moscow ordered troops into Ukraine in February 2022.

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