Russia fires on Kyiv for first time in weeks, ending period of calm

Ballistic missile launched towards the capital on Saturday

A shell crater near a residential building after a missile strike in Kyiv in June. EPA
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Russia launched its first missile attack against Kyiv in weeks on Saturday and pounded the east and south of the country with drones, Ukrainian officials said.

A ballistic missile was launched towards the Ukrainian capital at about 8am, according to Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv military administration.

It was shot down on the approach, he said.

Ukraine is bracing for a renewed Russian aerial campaign this winter, after strikes last year on the country's energy grid left thousands without heating or electricity.

“After a long pause of 52 days, the enemy has resumed missile attacks on Kyiv,” Mr Popko said on the Telegram messaging app.

“The missile failed to reach Kyiv. air defenders shot it down as it was approaching the capital.”

The air force said it was clarifying whether the capital had been targeted with an Iskander ballistic missile, or by an S-400 anti-aircraft missile.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Tuesday that Ukraine had prepared more western air defence systems as it braces for a second full winter of Russian attacks on its energy facilities.

Air defences last shot down a missile in Kyiv on September 21. The debris wounded seven people, including a child.

Mr Popko said there were no casualties or major damage in the capital.

Two missiles hit a field between two settlements in the Kyiv region, the head of the regional military administration said.

Ruslan Kravchenko, governor for the central Kyiv, said five private houses and several commercial buildings in the area were damaged.

Ukraine's air defenders also shot down 19 Iranian-made Shahed drones out of 31 launched by the Russian forces in the overnight attack on southern and eastern regions, the air force claimed.

Oleh Kiper, Odesa's regional governor, said the southern region was attacked with missiles and drones on Friday evening and overnight.

The strikes wounded three people and damaged port infrastructure facilities, he said without offering further details.

Ukraine warned it may attack Russian oil and gas infrastructure if Moscow repeats its campaign of strikes on energy infrastructure over the winter.

Energy Minister German Galushchenko said it “would be fair” to go after Russia's oil and gas infrastructure if Ukraine's power grid came under sustained attacks, in an interview with Politico.

On the ground, Ukrainian forces are facing assaults from Russian troops around the eastern frontline town of Avdiivka.

Ukrainian officials said this week they were bracing for a third wave of attacks from Russian forces, which began storming the Avdiivka about one month ago.

Over the past day, two people were killed in the southern frontline Kherson and eight others were wounded, governor Oleksandr Prokudin said.

Russia has intensified its bombardments of Ukraine's ports, including Odesa, and grain infrastructure since July when Moscow pulled out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a deal brokered Turkey by that enabled Ukraine’s exports to reach many countries facing the threat of hunger.

Updated: November 11, 2023, 3:29 PM