Russia launched its biggest missile and drone attack since the spring in the early hours of Wednesday against Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, killing two and destroying property.
Ukrainian air defenses shot down all 28 incoming missiles and 15 of the 16 drones in the overnight attack, which also targeted the Black Sea region of Odesa, said General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's armed forces.
Russia uses long-range Iranian Shahed kamikaze drones to attack Ukrainian infrastructure and civilian targets. The drones are also used in concert with missiles to confuse and exhaust Ukraine’s air defenses.
The United States and its European allies have imposed sanctions on individuals and entities involved in Iran’s drone production and transfer of hundreds of the weapons to Russia. They have also repeatedly warned Tehran not to expand its military cooperation with Moscow.
Russia has conducted regular, but smaller, air strikes on Kyiv this summer, and hit the capital with large-scale aerial attacks in May.
The latest attack began with drones heading towards Kyiv from different directions and was followed by a salvo of missiles launched by Tu-95 strategic bombers.
It was not immediately clear what had been hit by the single drone that was not shot down.
"Kyiv has not experienced such a powerful attack since spring. The enemy launched a massive, combined attack using drones and missiles," Serhiy Popko, the head of the city's military administration said on Telegram.
The bodies of two people were found in a non-residential building, mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram.