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Russia Launches New Deadly Air Strikes On Kyiv; Drones Hit Moscow Buildings

By RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, Current Time May 30, 2023

Russia launched a fresh wave of drone strikes on Kyiv on May 30 -- the fourth attack in three days -- killing at least one person and wounding several others, but Ukrainian authorities said most of the drones were shot down by the capital's air defenses, while Moscow was subjected to a rare drone attack that damaged several buildings.

The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, said on Telegram that fires broke out in several districts of the capital, and falling debris set a high-rise building on fire in Kyiv's Holosiyivskiy district.

"One person died. In total, four victims were hospitalized in the Holosiyivskiy district. Medics provided help on the spot," Klitschko wrote, adding that 20 people were evacuated.

The acting head of Ukraine's National Police, Ivan Vyhivskiy, said on Telegram that 13 people were wounded in the attack on Kyiv and its surroundings in addition to the person who died -- a young woman.

"Nine people were wounded in Kyiv, and a 33-year-old woman died. Four citizens were injured in the Kyiv region," the press service of the National Police quoted Vyhivskiy as saying.

The Ukrainian military said the attack solely consisted of Iranian-made drones and it lasted from shortly before midnight until 4:30 a.m. local time.

"A total of 31 kamikaze drones attacked from the north and south. The air defense forces destroyed 29 drones," the military said.

Almost all drones were shot down on the outskirts of Kyiv and above the capital.

Bolstered by sophisticated Western-supplied equipment, Ukrainian air defenses have been adept at thwarting Russian air attacks -- both drones and aircraft missiles.

Russia has intensified missile and drone strikes on Ukraine after a lull of nearly two months, targeting military facilities and supplies with waves of attacks several times a week.

The capital's military administration said only Iranian-made drones were involved in the May 30 attack -- the 17th on Kyiv this month.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he continues to speak with Ukraine's Western partners about providing further air defense systems to repel Russian attacks. This included a conversation on May 30 with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

"Now, precisely in Ukraine, on our land, in our sky, it is being decided whether freedom and civilization -- global leadership in this century -- will be preserved. It is decided by us, together with America, together with Europe, together with all our allies and partners," Zelenskiy said, thanking all countries that are helping Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Russia's Defense Ministry said eight drones were shot down or jammed in Moscow in what it said was a "terrorist attack" by the "Kyiv regime." Baza's Telegram channel said more than 25 drones had been involved in the attack.

The reports could not be independently verified.

"Several buildings suffered minor damage" in the attack, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Telegram. "No one has been seriously wounded."

An emergency services representative told RIA Novosti that drones hit two residential buildings in Moscow. The information could not be independently verified.

Russia's Investigative Committee said no one was wounded.

Russian President Vladimir Putin came to the Kremlin later and was briefed on the attack, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. He was quoted later as saying that Ukraine sought to frighten Russians.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak told the Breakfast Show YouTube channel on May 30 that the country had nothing to do with the drone attack.

"Of course we are pleased to watch and predict an increase in the number of attacks. But, of course, we have nothing directly to do with this," he said. Ukraine has denied similar attacks in the past.

The United States is still gathering information on reports of the drone strike, the White House said. Spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated the U.S. position that it does not support attacks inside of Russia.

The European Union condemned the attacks on Kyiv, with EU spokesman Peter Stano saying that such actions "indiscriminately terrorize" Ukrainian civilians.

"In the last 24 hours, Kyiv endured three waves of Russian missile and drone attacks. These attacks shows that Putin is not serious about stopping his war and he wants to continue his escalation against the Ukrainian people," Stano said on Twitter.

The latest attack on Kyiv came a day after Russian forces carried out rare daytime air strikes on the Ukrainian capital on May 29.

Eyewitnesses said they heard at least 10 explosions in Kyiv, as the sky above the city filled with blast clouds and smoke trails.

The city's military administration said that air defenses shot down all 11 Iskander missiles launched in the daytime attack. The claim could not be independently verified.

Speaking to RFE/RL near a subway station in Kyiv's Podil district, several locals said air raids had become the reality of their everyday lives since the war began.

"These attacks are yet another problem we have to deal with because of this war," pensioner Ivan Chihir said.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine--russian-kyiv-air- strikes/32434704.html

Copyright (c) 2023. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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