- By Jaroslav Lukiv
- BBC News
Russia has launched a new massive overnight drone attack on Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, killing at least one person, local officials have said.
Kyiv’s mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said a man died when drone wreckage fell near a petrol station. A woman was injured.
He said air defences had shot down more than 20 drones heading towards Kyiv before a “new drone wave” hit the city.
Kyiv’s military administration later said more than 40 drones had been downed, citing preliminary information.
Russia – which launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022 – has in recent weeks stepped up its attacks on Kyiv, seeking to overwhelm the capital’s defences.
Earlier on Sunday, air raid alerts were activated in 12 regions of Ukraine, from Volyn in the north-west to Dnipropetrovsk in the south-east.
In a post on social media, Mr Klitschko urged Kyiv residents to “stay in shelters”, warning that the night would be “difficult”.
He said at least two high-rising buildings in different districts of the capital were on fire after being hit by falling drone fragments.
Kyiv officials also reported that warehouses in the southern Holosiyivsky district were ablaze.
Emergency workers have been deployed.
The latest attack comes as city residents mark the annual Kyiv Day – a popular holiday in peaceful times.
There were also reports of explosions in the city of Zhytomyr, west of Kyiv.
The air alert was later lifted in the capital and across the country.
In its recent attacks, Russia has been using so-called kamikaze drones as well as a range of cruise and ballistic missiles.
The attacks come ahead of a widely expected Ukrainian counter-offensive.
On Saturday, one of Ukraine’s most senior security officials told the BBC the country was ready to launch such an operation.
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the powerful National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, said an assault to retake territory from President Vladimir Putin’s occupying forces could begin “tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or in a week”.
Ukraine has been planning a counter-offensive for months. But it has wanted as much time as possible to train troops and to receive military equipment from Western allies.