Europe

Russia uses Iran-made ‘kamikaze drones’ to strike near Kyiv

Iran-made “kamikaze drones” have bombarded a city near Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv, leaving one person injured, according to a regional governor. 

Russian forces attacked Bila Tserkva — around 90km from Kyiv — with six drone strikes on Tuesday night, the Ukrainian politician wrote on Telegram. 

The Kyiv region had largely been removed from fighting in recent weeks as Ukraine’s army stepped up its counteroffensive in the east and south.

Bila Tserkva, a city of around 200,000 people, was struck by Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones, according to regional governor Oleksiy Kuleba.

The weapons have been dubbed “kamikaze” drones as they are designed to be flown directly into enemy targets. Iran is reported to have sold hundreds of drones to Russia to support its war against Ukraine. 

“At night, the enemy attacked Bila Tserkva with kamikaze drones of the Shahed-136 type. A total of 6 hits and explosions,” Kuleba wrote on Telegram. 

“One person was injured. The infrastructure was also damaged.

“Currently, the liquidation of the consequences of shelling is ongoing. All the necessary services, 57 rescuers and 15 units of emergency services are working on the spot, the fire is still being extinguished.

“I ask the residents not to ignore air warning signals and safety rules.”

‘Fast and powerful advance’

In his nightly address on Tuesday, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy reported a “fast and powerful” advance of troops in the south of the country. 

He spoke after Russia annexed four regions of Ukraine — around 15% of its territory — following so-called referendums that have been dismissed as shams by most of the international community. 

“The Ukrainian army is carrying out a pretty fast and powerful advance in the south of our country as part of the current defence operation,” Zelenskyy said. 

“Dozens of settlements have already been liberated from the Russian sham referendum this week alone.”

Zelenskyy added that he had signed a presidential decree “designating null and void all decrees of the President of the Russian Federation and all acts adopted to implement these decrees for attempted annexation of our territory from 2014 until today.”

The United States on Tuesday announced a new $625 million security assistance package for Ukraine, which includes artillery systems with ammunition and armoured vehicles, according to the White House.

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