54 Russian drones launched at Kyiv in 'largest' attack, Ukraine claims

Kyiv's mayor Vitaliy Klitschko Credit: AP

Russia has executed a "massive" overnight drone attack on Ukraine's capital Kyiv, the largest since the start of Moscow's war, local officials have said.

Ukraine's parliament claimed Russian forces launched 54 missiles on Saturday night, 52 of which were "destroyed" by Ukraine's "anti-aircraft" defence system. Serhii Popko, a senior Kyiv military official, said the missiles were Iranian-made Shahed drones.

This information has not been independently verified.

Kyiv's mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said a 41-year-old man died when drone wreckage fell near a petrol station in the city. A woman, aged 35, was injured in the same attack.

At the time of the strikes, Mr Klitschko used messaging app Telegram to warn of "a new wave of drones".

"Stay in shelters. Do not neglect your safety. The night will be difficult," he wrote.

Ukraine's ministry of foreign affairs noted the reported attack took place on the morning of 'Kyiv Day', the anniversary of the city's founding.

The day is usually celebrated with live concerts, street fairs, exhibitions and fireworks. Scaled-back festivities were planned for this year, the city’s 1,541st anniversary.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's ministry of internal affairs said its personnel have been "working" at sites hit by missiles and falling debris.

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After Moscow's reported onslaught, the UK ministry of defence said Russia has begun to order its citizens to "actively make sacrifices in support of the war effort".

The intelligence update, posted on Sunday morning, added that Russian state-backed media and business groups have called for six-day working week "in the face of the economic demands of the war".

"The evolving tone of the conversations clearly echoes a Soviet-style sense of societal compulsion," the MoD wrote, referring to a time when Russia was one-party, totalitarian state where human rights were severely limited.