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Russian 'Kamikaze Drones' Strike Kyiv: Ukraine

A man falls is seen on the ground after a blast following a drone attack in Kyiv on October 17, 2022. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

Updates with Zelensky comments and Defense Ministry statement.

Russian-launched "kamikaze drones" attacked Kyiv early Monday, the Ukrainian presidency said, describing the strikes as an act of desperation nearly eight months into a war that has claimed thousands of lives.

Air raid sirens sounded in Kyiv shortly before the first explosion at around 6:35 a.m., followed by sirens across most of the country.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said a residential building in the central Shevchenkivsky district of the capital had been hit. He said 18 people had been rescued but two people were still trapped under the rubble.

"Fire departments are working. Several residential buildings were damaged. Medics are on the spot," Klitschko said on Telegram.

"We are clarifying the information about the casualties."

The mayor also posted a picture of what he said was the charred wreckage of one of the kamikaze drones, loitering munitions that can hover while waiting for a target to appear.

"All night and all morning, the enemy terrorizes the civilian population. Kamikaze drones and missiles are attacking all of Ukraine. The enemy can attack our cities, but it won't be able to break us," President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

"We need more air defense systems ASAP. More weapons to defend the sky and destroy the enemy," Zelensky's chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, tweeted.

"The Russians think it will help them but it shows their desperation," he also wrote.

The attacks come exactly a week after Russia unleashed a massive wave of missile strikes on the Ukrainian capital and cities across the country.

The Ukrainian military said Russian drones and missiles were targeting towns and cities across the country. It estimated that Russian forces had fired two missiles and 26 air strikes, and carried out more than 80 rocket attacks.

"In the past 13 hours, the Ukrainian military shot down 37 Iranian Shahed-136 drones and three cruise missiles launched by Russian terrorists," the Defense Ministry said in a separate statement.

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