Russia launched a wave of attacks on Kyiv Sunday night into Monday, including a surprise daytime attack. More than 70 drones and missiles have been fired by Moscow since Sunday night, Ukrainian officials say, and many of the drones were shot down by the country’s defenses.
The Kyiv city military administration said the daytime barrage was the 16th attack on the capital since the beginning of the month. Ukrainian authorities are promising swift retaliation as the country’s counteroffensive looms.
Here’s what to know about the strikes on Kyiv and other top headlines:
Ukrainian air defenses destroyed 67 out of 75 “air targets” launched overnight on Kyiv, the commander of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said Monday. Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi said 37 cruise missiles, 29 Shahed drones and one reconnaissance drone were shot down. Police confirmed that “almost all enemy targets were destroyed,” but some buildings were damaged.
Rare daytime attacks:
Just hours later, Kyiv came under an unusual daytime attack. Serhii Popko, the head of Kyiv city military administration, said this attack shows “the enemy changed its tactics – after prolonged, nighttime attacks only, it struck a peaceful city during the day when most residents were at work and outside.” Kyiv’s armed forces said it downed 11 Iskander missiles launched by Russia in the daytime raid. One man was hospitalized.
Attacks across other parts of Ukraine:
The country’s defenses destroyed 77 out of 89 Russian drones and missiles fired at various places in the country on Sunday night and Monday, the Ukrainian military said in an update Monday. The overall tally of missiles is one of the highest daily counts in recent months.
Ukraine vows to respond:
The head of Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence promised retribution “very soon” after the latest wave of Russian attacks. “Our response will not be delayed. Everyone will see everything soon,” the official said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky posted a half-minute video of children running to a shelter in Kyiv Monday morning as an explosion is heard in the background. “Thank you to everyone in the world who helps protect people and our children from Russian terror!” the president said.
What Russia is saying:
The Russian Defense Ministry claimed its forces hit Ukrainian airfields, destroying all targets. The strike hit “command posts and radar posts, as well as aviation equipment, storage facilities with weapons and ammunition,” the defense ministry said.
Ukraine’s looming counteroffensive:
The commander of the Ukrainian Land Forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, told troops near the eastern city of Lyman on Monday that the time will “soon come” to take offensive actions against Russian forces. His comments came shortly after Gen. Zaluzhnyi hinted that Ukraine’s counteroffensive is imminent. Meanwhile, Zelensky said Monday on Telegram that he met senior military commanders and there are “answers” about the timing of the next phase of the conflict. He gave no further details.
Battle in Bakhmut:
Ukrainian officials have indicated that there’s been little change in positions around the eastern city of Bakhmut. The intensity of Moscow’s offensive has decreased as Russian regular units continue to replace Wagner fighters, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister said. The head of the Wagner Group said Sunday that the handover of his fighters’ positions in Bakhmut to Russian army units may extend to June 5.