May 28, 2023

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Russia attacked Kiev with kamikaze drones. US and EU to investigate Iranian drone deliveries and consider new sanctions

Russia attacked targets in Kyiv with drones last night as well.

Strong explosions were heard in the south of the country, but also in localities in the Ukrainian region of Sumy, in the northeast.

Kiev reacted strongly after the kamikaze drone attack launched by the Russians. In Kyiv alone, at least 4 people died and others were injured.

The US and the European Union have announced that they will investigate Iranian drone deliveries to Russia and are considering a new set of sanctions, this time on Tehran.

Air defenses shot down more than 80 percent of the dozens of kamikaze drones launched by the Russians in the latest attack on the Ukrainian capital. But at least five exploded in central Kiev, including hitting apartment buildings.

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Kyiv explosion

Among those who lost their lives are two husbands who were expecting a child. The woman was 6 months pregnant.

In the images on a video camera, police officers on a patrol can be seen shooting at some drones and even managing to shoot them down.

The Interior Ministry has asked civilians to stop shooting at drones after images emerged of locals targeting the drones. “It is unlikely that an untrained person will be able to hit them, instead there is a risk of injuring one or the other” – it is written in the ministry’s statement.

The drones that attacked Kiev are of Iranian production. They have a relatively small explosive charge – only 50 kilograms – and use inexpensive civilian GPS systems. The Russians, however, rely on their large numbers and use them in…swarms.

Local from Kyiv: “We were worried, but we trust our soldiers and believe that everything will be fine, we are safe.”

Local from Kyiv: “I feel very bad, I have two children and our morning started very noisy, because the area where we live, near the station, was hit. How should I feel? I feel angry. I am filled with rage and hatred for those two-legged creatures.”

Yesterday’s attack in Kyiv seems to be a response to the bombing of Russian territory. Two days ago, an air defense system in Belgorod was destroyed by the Ukrainians with American anti-radar missiles.

Local woman from Belgorod: “There have been very strong explosions in the last week. It all became very scary.”

The words “For Belgorod” were found on the remains of an Iranian drone, further evidence that the Russians are retaliating after the Ukrainians bombed their bases on their own territory.

Clarissa Ward, CNN correspondent: “We are again hearing strong calls from Ukraine’s leaders for the international community to deliver better and more sophisticated anti-aircraft systems that would help them repel these attacks. And, of course, calls for sanctions on Iran.”

Western intelligence estimates that Russia has bought hundreds, if not thousands, of Iranian kamikaze drones and is preparing to receive medium-range ballistic missiles as well. Iran, on the other hand, says it has not sold any weapons to the Russians, claims the West does not take seriously.

Vedant Patel, spokesperson for the US State Department: “Russian military are still training in Iran on these (unmanned) systems. There is multiple evidence of their use by Russia, against military and civilian targets (in Ukraine).”

In eastern Ukraine, fighting continues. The Russians have serious logistical problems: the mobilized soldiers are poorly equipped, an occasion for bitter self-irony. As a video recorded by a Russian soldier shows.

Russian soldier: “I got this super bulletproof news last night. They are for airsoft, protect against air guns. And they are going to send us to Ukraine with this mess. They are gifts! The headphones are from the Chinese.”

Some of the newly mobilized Russian military have arrived in Belarus, which has given rise to speculation that Moscow is about to make a new attempt to capture Kiev, with the help of the Belarusian army. The authorities in Minsk have an increasingly belligerent attitude, and the army group being formed in northern Ukraine is said to have around 80,000 soldiers and 200 tanks. But there are voices that say that it is all just a bluff, to force the Ukrainians to keep a large number of troops away from the front in the east of the country.

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