A 41-year-old man died after fragments from a drone that was shot down fell to the ground, according to Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, and the city’s military administration. The first wave of explosions, including three that damaged buildings across the city, came shortly after 2 a.m. local time, according to Mr. Klitschko. The air-raid warning was lifted at about 6 a.m.
Russia has intensified its focus on Kyiv in May, unleashing its biggest and most sustained attack there since at least March, with near-nightly volleys of missiles and drones. Sunday’s attack, the 14th this month, appeared to be the first deadly one in May. Ukraine’s air defenses destroyed more than 40 drones, the most fired at Kyiv in one night, the city’s military administration said on Telegram.
Ukraine’s armed force have become adept at intercepting the Russian barrages, often shooting down dozens of drones and missiles. As of this month, Ukraine has been using U.S.-made Patriot antimissile systems, one of the most advanced air defense systems, as part of its growing arsenal of weapons.
In a show of just how skilled Ukraine’s armed forces have become, its air defense system shot down Kinzhals aimed at Kyiv earlier this month on more than one occasion, according to Ukrainian and U.S. officials. The weapon is one of Russia’s most sophisticated conventional weapons. And while some analysts have cast doubt on the abilities of the Kinzhal, Ukraine’s defense against them demonstrates a great capability to withstand Russia’s arsenal, which includes Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones.
On Saturday, Ukraine’s top military commander, Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, signaled that the nation’s armed forces were ready to launch their counteroffensive, but stopped short of declaring an official start to it. In recent weeks, Ukrainian forces have grown bolder and attacked deeper into Russian territory, trading drone and missile attacks with Russia, and targeting military and industrial facilities key to Russia’s war effort.