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Ukraine says it shot down 29 of 30 missiles in overnight Russian attacks

By Gleb Garanich

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine shot down 29 of 30 missiles launched by Russia in overnight air strikes but one person was killed in an attack on the southern city of Odesa, the Ukrainian military said on Thursday.

Black smoke filled the sky over Kyiv during the ninth attack on the capital this month. Falling debris from missiles hit by air defences set off fires in eastern parts of Kyiv, causing minor damage but no casualties in the capital, officials said.

Ukraine's military said the barrage of 30 missiles launched by Russia overnight included cruise missiles fired from the sea, air and land, and that two Iranian-made Shahed attack drones and two reconnaissance drones had been knocked out.

"All targets over Kyiv were shot down," General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, said in a statement posted on the Telegram messaging app.

A witness in Kyiv in a blue jacket who did not give his name said: "There was a very powerful explosion. Then I saw the smoke. I found out that the debris fell on the garages, my one is nearby. I see the rocket debris now."

Officials in Odesa said an unspecified industrial facility had been struck when a missile crashed to the ground after being hit by air defences, killing one person and wounding two.

Russia, which launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, has stepped up air strikes in recent weeks as Ukraine prepares to launch a counteroffensive to try to take back occupied territory.

After particularly heavy air strikes on Kyiv on Tuesday, Ukraine said it had shot down six Russian "Kinzhal" missiles. Moscow later denied losing six of the hypersonic missiles which it has touted as all but unstoppable.

Russia said it had destroyed a U.S.-made Patriot missile defence system during Tuesday's attacks but Ukraine denied this.

Ukrainian air force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat said on Thursday the Patriot system was still being used by Kyiv.

"Therefore, I ask everyone to remain calm. The air defense is working and will continue to offer protection," he told Ukrainian television.

(Additional reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Christian Schmollinger and Timothy Heritage)