Explosions thundered in Kyiv on the morning of December 14 as Russia launched another wave of drone strikes. However, citizens were relieved when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced that air defence had successfully shot down all 13 drones, preventing a deadly attack on energy infrastructure, something which has become commonplace since October 10.
With air-raid sirens echoing across the city at 6am, war-weary residents took to shelters expecting more death and destruction. Nevertheless, the thwarted attacks only resulted in minor damage to four residential buildings and one administrative building in the central-western Shevchenkivsky District, whilst falling debris also hit a private house in the village of Vyshneve. No injuries or deaths have been recorded.
“Well done, I’m proud of you,” Zelenskiy told air defence in a video address. Nevertheless, he still warned citizens to follow air-raid protocol, the Kyiv Independent reported.
The Iranian-made Shahed-136 and Shahed-131 drones were reportedly launched from the Sea of Azov and came in a wave of two attacks. Russians began using kamikaze drone attacks in October, successfully damaging and destroying crucial energy infrastructure.
Ukraine has repeatedly requested that allies send air-defence systems to protect against incoming missile and drone attacks. With further air defence pledged, Ukraine has recently seen progress in subduing incoming attacks, with over 60 missiles downed in the previous attack on December 5.
Ukraine has requested further air defence, including Patriot systems. “Ukraine needs an anti-missile, anti-aircraft defence Patriot system, such as the IRIS-T system that our country received from Germany and the Crotale system that we received from France. We are also asking and waiting for help from the French Mamba system, which will also help us to fight against Iranian drones and Russian missiles,” Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said recently.
This is the seventh major attack on infrastructure since October 10. Over 1,000 missiles and drones have been fired at Ukraine since then, damaging 50% of energy facilities and causing billions in damage and resulting in rolling blackouts across the country.