Russia strikes Kyiv Oblast with "Kamikaze" drones from Iran

Russia strikes Kyiv Oblast with
"KamiKaze" drones striking the city of Bila Tserkva in the first bombardment of Kyiv Region since the summer. / bne IntelliNews
By Dominic Culverwell in Berlin October 5, 2022

‘Kamikaze’ drone attacks were reported 80 km from Kyiv in the city of Bila Tserkva on the night of October 4. The drones are allegedly part of the Iranian-made Shahed series, which Russia has used on the battlefields since September.

Residents of the 200,000-person city reported hearing six explosions in the first attack in the Kyiv region since summer. According to Kyiv Oblast Governor Oleksiy Kuleba, the six strikes damaged infrastructure facilities, including the barracks of the 72nd Mechanised Brigade, resulting in a raging fire and one injury.

“Currently, the liquidation of the consequences of shelling is ongoing. All the necessary services, 57 rescuers and 15 units of emergency services are working on the spot, the fire is still being extinguished,” Kuleba wrote on Telegram in the morning of October 5.

According to Ukrainian sources, 'Kamikaze drones', which carry ammunition and fly directly into targets, were spotted on the Belarus-Ukraine border in late September, leading to speculation that drone attacks may be launched from Ukraine's northern neighbour. Iran has allegedly sold hundreds of these drones to Moscow, which are difficult to shoot down due to their relatively small size and low-flying altitude, Euromaidan Press reported. However, Tehran denies selling drones to Russia.

Nevertheless, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have shot down multiple Shahed drones on the front lines, particularly around the Mykolaiv and Kharkiv regions. But this is the first time the Shahed has been used in an attack in Northern Ukraine.

This comes as Ukraine sees further victories in its eastern and southern offensive, liberating dozens of settlements in Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk and Kherson in the past week. According to the Institute for the Study of War, Ukrainian forces are making “significant gains” in the Kherson region and have retaken settlements on the eastern bank of the Inhulets River, forcing Russian troops to retreat to Kherson City.

"The Ukrainian army is carrying out a pretty fast and powerful advance in the south of our country as part of the current defence operation," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his evening address on October 4.

Ukraine’s recent success in the occupied territories is a slap in the face for Moscow after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the annexation of the four occupied territories on October 5 following the sham referenda last month. Only North Korea has recognised the Ukrainian territories as part of Russia, which has been widely condemned as illegal by global leaders.

In response to the attempted annexation, Zelenskiy signed a decree on October 4 officially forbidding Ukraine from negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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