Ukraine repelled missiles attack in Kyiv, air defense command said

Ukrainian air defence crews have destroyed 16 out of 18 missiles launched by Russian forces in an early morning attack, the military said.

Air raid sirens blared across the country for more than three hours urging residents to keep calm and stay in shelters.

“Around 2:30 am, the Russian invaders attacked Ukraine from strategic aviation planes,” read a post on the Telegram channel of Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander-in chief of Ukraine’s armed forces.

Kyiv’s city officials wrote on the Telegram messaging app that all missiles directed at the capital were destroyed.

“According to (preliminary information), no casualties among the civilian population and no destruction of residential facilities or infrastructure have been recorded,” the city administration said.

Air defence systems were also called into action to shield the Kyiv region, which is a separate administrative entity from the city, from Russian missiles, officials said.

Ukrainian media also reported blasts in the Dnipropetrovsk and Sumy regions.

Russia has intensified its missile attacks on Ukraine in the past few days. Reuters was unable to independently verify reports of the latest blasts.

Earlier, Ukraine said its troops were holding onto parts of the eastern city of Bakhmut, focus of a prolonged Russian assault, while the head of a major pro-Moscow force says his men are making progress.

“Fierce fighting continues in the city of Bakhmut. The enemy is unable to take control over the city, despite throwing all its forces into the battle and having some success,” Ukrainian deputy defence minister Hanna Malyar said on Sunday.

Separately, Serhiy Cherevatyi, a spokesperson for Ukrainian troops in the east, told the ICTV channel it was still possible to supply the Bakhmut defenders with food, ammunition and medicine and evacuate the wounded.

Russia’s defence ministry earlier said its forces had taken four blocks in western Bakhmut on Sunday.

Ukraine, which says its forces are waiting for better weather before launching a long-promised counteroffensive, is pleading with allies to overcome their hesitation about supplying modern fighter jets.

“Without air cover, it is impossible to achieve good results in both offensive and defensive actions,” air force spokesman Yuri Ignat told TSN television on Sunday, saying it would take months to train pilots on western planes.

The attack on Bakhmut is being spearheaded by the private Wagner Group militia, whose leader Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Telegram that his men had advanced up to 230 metres in some directions on Sunday. Pro-Kyiv units control less than three square kilometres, he said.

Prigozhin, who has clashed repeatedly with Russia’s defence ministry, reiterated complaints that Moscow was not supplying his forces with enough ammunition. As a result, Wagner had suffered unnecessarily high losses, he added.

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