Russia launches kamikaze drone strikes and triggers alarms in Kyiv

(CNN) — A wave of kamikaze drone attacks hit Kyiv on Monday morning, setting off warning sirens across the Ukrainian capital as people headed to work.

Three people were killed and 19 more were rescued from the rubble in the Kyiv attacks on Monday, according to a senior Ukrainian official.

“So far, the number of people killed as a result of a kamikaze drone attack on a residential building has risen to 3. 19 people have been rescued. Rescue work is ongoing,” said the deputy head of the office of the president of Ukraine, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, in a post on Telegram.

The attacks in Kyiv appear to be part of a broader offensive involving drones and cruise missiles. The Ukrainian Air Force said it had destroyed 26 Iranian-made kamikaze drones in the south and east of the country early Monday. Attacks in the east targeted critical infrastructure.

Kamikaze drones, or suicide drones, are small man-portable aerial weapons systems that are difficult to detect and can be fired from a distance. They can be thrown easily and are designed to hit behind enemy lines and be destroyed on attack.

In Kyiv, explosions were heard at 6:45 am local time, including one in the city’s Shevchenkivskyi district. As of 9 a.m., Kyiv had been the target of four attacks, authorities said. One of the attacks occurred near Kyiv’s main train station, said Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister. Authorities have asked people to stay at home.

Russia drone attacks

A drone approaches for an attack in Kyiv on October 17.

“Kamikaze drones and missiles are attacking all of Ukraine,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said. “The enemy can attack our cities, but he will not be able to break us. The occupants will only get a just punishment and the condemnation of future generations. And we will achieve victory.”

It is unclear how many victims have been recorded, but at least two people are trapped under the rubble of a destroyed building, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

Monday’s offensive comes a week after Russia began an intense two-day nationwide bombardment of Ukraine that killed at least 19 people and flattened civilian targets, sparking global outrage. The attacks also caused significant damage to Ukraine’s electrical systems, forcing people to reduce consumption during peak hours to avoid blackouts.

Last Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said there was no need for more “large-scale” attacks for now. However, a series of Russian attacks over the weekend left 11 civilians dead: eight in the eastern Donetsk region, two in the southern Zaporizhia region and one in the northeastern Kharkiv region.

The city of Zaporizhia was attacked with kamikaze drones and missiles on Saturday, while Kyiv was hit by an apparent Russian rocket.

— CNN’s Joshua Berlinger, Josh Pennington and Ivana Kottasová contributed to this report.

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