Russia launches deadly 'suicide drone' attacks in Kyiv, reports Ukrainian officials

Soldiers fired into the air trying to shoot down the drones after blasts rocked central Kyiv

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Russia attacked the centre of Kyiv during morning rush hour with drones on Monday and shelled other cities around the country, the second time in a week it has unleashed strikes across Ukraine while its forces face setbacks on the battlefield.

Soldiers fired into the air trying to shoot down the drones after blasts rocked central Kyiv. Residents fled for shelter. An anti-aircraft rocket could be seen streaking into the morning sky, followed by an explosion and orange flames.

Local residents look at parts of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), what Ukrainian authorities consider to be an Iranian-made drone Shahed-136, after Russian drone strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine October 17, 2022. REUTERS/Vladyslav Musiienko
Local residents look at parts of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), what Ukrainian authorities consider to be an Iranian-made drone Shahed-136, after Russian drone strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine October 17, 2022. REUTERS/Vladyslav Musiienko

An official in Ukraine's presidential office said three people were killed in an attack on a residential building in Kyiv. Black smoke poured out of the windows of a blasted building and emergency service workers toiled to douse flames.

Ukraine said the attacks were carried out by Iran-made 'suicide drones', which fly to their target and detonate. Russia's defence ministry said it had carried out a "massive" attack on military targets and energy infrastructure across Ukraine using high-precision weapons.

Firefighters work to put out a fire in a residential building destroyed by a Russian drones strike, which local authorities consider to be Iranian made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) Shahed-136, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine October 17, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Firefighters work to put out a fire in a residential building destroyed by a Russian drones strike, which local authorities consider to be Iranian made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) Shahed-136, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine October 17, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Reuters saw pieces of a drone used in the attack that bore the words: "For Belgorod" - an apparent reference to Ukrainian shelling of a Russian region bordering Ukraine.

Ukraine's Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi later said there had been deaths in other cities too in Monday's attacks.

The strikes came exactly one week after Russia unleashed its heaviest aerial bombardment of Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities since the start of the war - also during morning rush hour.

"All night and all morning the enemy terroriaes the civilian population. Kamikaze drones and missiles are attacking all of Ukraine. A residential building was hit in Kyiv," President Volodymyr Zelensky said on the Telegram messaging app.

"The enemy can attack our cities, but it won’t be able to break us. The occupiers will get only fair punishment and condemnation of future generations. And we will get victory."

Ukraine's military said it had destroyed 37 Russian drones since Sunday evening, or around 85% of those involved in attacks.