KYIV, Ukraine, October 17, 2022 — Waves of explosives-laden suicide drones struck Ukraine’s capital Monday, setting buildings ablaze and tearing a hole in one of them. People scurried for shelter or tried to shoot down the kamikazes.
The concentrated use of the drones was the second barrage in as many weeks — after months in which air attacks had become become a rarity in central Kyiv. The assault sowed terror and frayed nerves as blasts rocked the city. Energy facilities were struck and one drone largely collapsed a residential building, killing four people, authorities said.
Intense, sustained bursts of gunfire rang out as the Iranian-made Shahed drones buzzed overhead, apparently from soldiers trying to destroy them. Others headed for shelter, nervously scanning the skies. But Ukraine has become grimly accustomed to attacks nearly eight months into the Russian invasion, and city life resumed as rescuers picked through debris.
Previous Russian airstrikes on Kyiv were mostly with missiles. Analysts believe the slower-moving Shahed drones can be programmed to accurately hit certain targets using GPS unless the system fails.
Mayor Vitali Klitschko said Monday’s barrage came in successive waves of 28 drones — in what many fear could become a more common mode of attack as Russia seeks to avoid depleting its stockpiles of long-range precision missiles.
Five drones plunged into Kyiv itself, said Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. In the Kyiv region, at least 13 were shot down, all flying in from the south, said Yurii Ihnat, a spokesman for Ukraine’s air force.
One strike appeared to target the city’s heating network, hitting an operations center. Another slammed into a four-story residential building, ripping open a gaping hole and collapsing at least three apartments on top of each other. Four bodies were recovered, including those of a woman who was 6 months pregnant and her husband, Klitschko said. An older woman and another man also were killed there.
An Associated Press photographer caught one of the drones on camera, its triangle-shaped wing and pointed warhead clearly visible against the blue sky.
Source: AP News wrote the original article.