Kamikaze drones hit Zaporizhzhia as rocket strikes Kyiv, Ukrainian officials say

Ukrainian officials say Russian attacks have killed 11 civilians in the past day as the southern city of Zaporizhzhia came under attack early Saturday, in an assault involving kamikaze drones and missiles.

In the Donetsk region, eight civilians died and six more were injured, deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said in a statement on his Telegram channel.

In the Zaporizhzhia region, two people died and one was injured. In the Kharkiv region, one civilian died, another was injured.

Two people were injured in the Dnipro region, while one was injured in the Kherson region, the official said.

Zaporizhzhia was struck by “10 or more” C300 missiles Saturday morning, following four strikes by “kamikaze” drones overnight, said Oleksandr Starukh, the head of Zaporizhzhia’s regional military administration.

The city’s acting mayor Anatoliy Kurtev also reported what he referred to as an “insidious attack on Zaporizhzhia with kamikaze drones” in a Telegram post.

Kamikaze drones or suicide drones, are a type of aerial weapon system. They are known as a loitering munition because they are capable of waiting for some time in an area identified as a potential target and only strike once an enemy asset is identified.

The Ukrainian military and US intelligence say Russia is using Iranian-made attack drones in Ukraine.

US officials told CNN in July that Iran had begun showcasing Shahed series drones to Russia at Kashan Airfield south of Tehran the previous month.

The drones are capable of carrying precision-guided missiles and have a payload of about 50 kilograms (110 pounds).

The city of Zaporizhzhia houses Europe’s largest nuclear plant and shelling in the area has previously sparked fears of a nuclear disaster.

Attacks elsewhere in Ukraine

The apparent attacks on the city came as Ukrainian officials claimed the capital Kyiv had been hit by an apparent Russian rocket.

Civilians in and around the capital, Kyiv were warned to remain in shelters until air raid sirens stopped.

“All services are working, rescue teams are on site,” said the head of Kyiv regional state administration Oleksiy Kuleba in a Telegram post.

“Stay in your shelters until the air raid sirens stop. Do not record the place of impact and do not post photos and videos on social networks.”

A major energy infrastructure facility in the Kyiv region was also left severely damaged after a Russian missile attack early Saturday, according to Ukraine’s energy operator.

Ukrenergo warned about the possibility of rolling blackouts on Telegram, urging local residents to save electricity from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. local time Saturday so specialists could carry out essential restoration work.

Russian shelling on the frontline killed at least one person and left another three injured over the past day.

A 66-year-old civilian was killed by shelling in Kharkiv district close to the Russian border, according to a military official.

Moscow also bombarded the settlements of Kharkiv, Izyum, Kupiansk and Chuhuyiv districts, the head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Adminstration, Oleh Syniehubov, said on Telegram.

A 74-year-old man was also injured in the Kupiansk district. Houses and commercial buildings were damaged in Vovchansk, where fires broke out due to shelling.

Separately, a 65-year-old man was seriously injured when his car ran over a mine in the Chuhuyiv district, Syniehubov added.

Further south, Russian shelling in the Dniper-river town of Nikopol left a 35-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman hospitalized, according to a military official.

Critical infrastructure including high-rise buildings, a transport company and several shops and offices were struck, according to Valentyn Reznichenko, head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Military Administration.

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