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Russia launches ‘exceptionally’ intense air attack on Kyiv

Russia launched an “exceptionally” intense air attack on Kyiv early on Tuesday.

Ukrainian officials said the raid was carried out using drones, cruise missiles and likely ballistic missiles. It is the eighth air raid on Kyiv this month.

“It was exceptional in its density - the maximum number of attack missiles in the shortest period of time," Serhiy Popko, head of Kyiv’s city military administration, said.

“According to preliminary information, the vast majority of enemy targets in the airspace of Kyiv were detected and destroyed!"

It was not immediately clear how many objects were shot down over the city and if any of them managed to hit their target.

Residents reported hearing explosions across the capital, while the head of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, Andriy Yermak, said: “Air defence is working on targets.”

Falling debris was reported in Kyiv’s Obolonskyi, Shevchenkivskyi, Solomyanskyi and Darnytskyi districts, officials said.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the debris set several cars on fire and damaged a building in the capital’s west, injuring three people.

Mr Klitschko said that air defence systems repelled a drone attack in Boryspil, a city just southeast of Kyiv. The city is home to Kyiv’s main passenger airport, which is now closed.

The damage in other districts was not significant and there was no immediate information on potential casualties there, the military administration said.

After a weeks-long hiatus, Russia in late April resumed its tactic of long-range missile strikes.

Rishi Sunak talks with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky at Chequers (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Rishi Sunak talks with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky at Chequers (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The latest escalation in attacks comes after President Zelensky made a surprise visit to the UK on Monday.

The government has pledged hundreds more air defence missiles, as well as attack drones with a range of more than 200 kilometres to Ukraine.

Mr Zelensky said he and Rishi Sunak had also discussed western fighter jets and he anticipated “very important decisions" to be made soon.

Following the meeting, the president said the two countries were “real partners", with Mr Sunak knowing details of developments on the battlefield.

He has pushed for Western allies to provide fighter jets, a step that Nato members have been reluctant to take over fears of escalating the war.

“We want to create this jets coalition and I’m very positive with it,” said Mr Zelensky.

“We spoke about it and I see that in the closest time you will hear some, I think very important decisions but we have to work a little bit more on it."

Mr Sunak stressed the provision of warplanes was “not a straightforward thing" but said the UK was committed to training Ukrainian pilots using Nato-standard aircraft.