KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Explosions rattled Kyiv during daylight Monday as Russian ballistic missiles took aim at the Ukrainian capital, hours after a more common nighttime barrage of the city by drones and cruise missiles.
Debris from missiles intercepted by Ukrainian air defenses fell in Kyiv’s central and northern districts during the morning, landing in the middle of traffic on a city road and also starting a fire on a building’s roof, the Kyiv military administration said. At least one civilian was reported hurt.
The blasts unnerved some locals, already under strain after being awakened by the night attack.
“After what happened last night, I react sharply to every siren now. I was terrified, and I’m still trembling,” shared Alina Ksenofontova, a 50-year-old woman who took refuge in the Kyiv subway with her dog Bublik.
The central station, Tetatralna, was crowded with sheltering locals.
Artem Zhyla, a 24-year-old who provides legal services abroad, took his laptop with him and kept working underground.
“I heard two or three explosions, went to the bathroom, and then I heard five or seven more explosions. That’s when I realized something terrible was happening,” he said.
Like many others in the capital, he feels exhausted and stressed. However, he has no intentions of giving up and plans to attend his yoga class to recharge.
“This is certainly not enough to break us,” he said.
Russia used Iskander short-range missiles in the morning attack, the spokesman for Ukraine’s air force said on local television.
The missiles were fired from north of Kyiv, Yurii Ihnat said without clarifying if he meant Russian territory. Kyiv lies around 380 kilometers (236 miles) from the Russian border.
During the previous night, air defenses brought down more than 40 targets as Russian forces bombarded Kyiv with a combination of drones and cruise missiles in their 15th nighttime attack on the capital so far this month, said Serhii Popko, the head of Kyiv’s military administration.
On Saturday night, Kyiv was subjected to the largest drone attack since the start of Russia’s war. At least one person was killed, local officials said.
Kremlin’s strategy of long-range bombardment has brought many sleepless nights for Ukrainians.
Over the winter, Russian forces aimed their missiles and drones at power plants and other infrastructure. The apparent goal was to weaken Ukraine’s resolve and compel the Ukrainian government to negotiate peace on Moscow’s terms, but Ukrainians swiftly and defiantly repaired the damage.
In recent months, Ukraine has been receiving advanced air defense systems from its Western allies, improving its ability to fend off bombardments by the Kremlin’s forces.
Across the country, the Ukrainian air force said that over Sunday night it shot down 37 out of 40 cruise missiles and 29 out of 35 drones launched by the Kremlin’s forces.
At least three civilians were wounded nationwide in the latest wave of attacks, the Ukrainian presidential office said.
Russian missiles slammed into a military airport In the western Khmelnytskyi region of Ukraine, destroying five aircraft and damaging the runway, local Gov. Serhyi Hamaliy said on television.
The strike sparked fires at nearby warehouses storing fuel and military equipment, he added.
Russian shelling and airstrikes also targeted nine localities in the eastern Donetsk region, including the city of Kramatorsk which houses the local Ukrainian army headquarters, local Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Ukrainian TV.
Yuras Karmanau contributed to this report from Tallinn, Estonia.
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