Ukraine says it has repelled 'biggest' missile attack on Kyiv so far

This picture taken early morning on May 9, 2023, in Kyiv, shows a smog of explosion after Ukrainian air defence downed missile.
This picture taken early morning on May 9, 2023, in Kyiv, shows a smog of explosion after Ukrainian air defence downed missile. Copyright SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP or licensors
Copyright SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP or licensors
By Euronews with AFP
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"The vast majority of enemy targets in the sky of Kyiv have been detected and destroyed," said military authorities in the Ukrainian capital.

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Ukraine says it repelled a "complex" Russian attack, a day after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy returned from his whistle-stop European tour. 

Ukrainian anti-aircraft defences kicked into action before dawn on Tuesday, intercepting a flurry of Russian drones and missiles fired at the capital, Kyiv. 

The reports of the Armed Forces of Ukraine mention the downing of 6 supersonic missiles and 9 cruise missiles. According to this information, only debris fell on the city. There are damages in several areas, including the zoo. Several people were injured.

"The enemy launched a complex attack from numerous directions and simultaneously, using drones, cruise missiles and probably ballistic missiles," military authorities in Kyiv wrote in a statement posted on Telegram.

"It was exceptional in its density, a maximum number of missiles in a very tight time frame. According to the first information, the vast majority of enemy targets in the sky of Kyiv have been detected and destroyed," it added. 

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported shortly before the city's anti-aircraft defences were at work, detailing that drone wreckage and missile remains had fallen in the south of the city.

"Three people were injured," he added.

The Russian authorities have stated that it is impossible to shoot down Kinzhal missiles, especially with the means that Ukraine has. Moscow called earlier reports of such a missile being intercepted "fake". Washington noted that they could confirm the success of Ukrainian air defence.

Russia's attack comes a day after Zelenskyy returned from a tour which saw him meeting with leaders in Italy, France, Germany, and Britain. 

"Back home with (...) new and powerful weapons for the front," he announced in a video message to his citizens, following his visit to Britain where he obtained anti-aircraft missiles and expressed optimism about future fighter jet deliveries.

"In the coming months", London has promised to give Ukraine "hundreds" of anti-aircraft missiles and long-range attack drones, with a range of 200km.

Last week it promised Storm Shadow cruise missiles, something long demanded by Ukrainian forces. 

The Russian army claimed to have already shot down one of these devices.

British aid will cause "even more destruction" but will have "no significant impact on the course" of the conflict, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Ukraine says such long-range ordinance is needed to push back Russia's invading army. However, there have been fears deliveries of such weapons could escalate tensions by allowing Ukraine to strike deeper within Russian territory.

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