Russia launched more than 20 drone attacks on the Kyiv region overnight, killing at least three civilians and burying several more beneath the rubble, local officials have reported. Two multistorey apartment blocks and an educational building were damaged by the attacks on the city of Rzhyshchiv, which were carried out with Iranian Shahed-136 kamikaze drones, as roughly 200 people were evacuated from the area and more than a dozen rushed to hospital. The Kyiv regional military administration reported on its Telegram channel that a “civilian object” had been damaged and that rescuers were still working at the scene. The Ukrainian military said it had shot down 16 out of 21 Iranian drones.
The first explosions struck the residential area of Rzhyshchiv, to the south of the Ukrainian capital, around 3am on Wednesday morning.
Emergency services rushed to the scene to find that the fourth and fifth floors of a dormitory had been blown apart. An educational building next door had also been damaged.
At least three people have been confirmed dead in the hours following the first strikes, with seven more people injured. More than 20 people have been rushed to hospital.
The Ukrainian State Emergency Service are now frantically picking through the rubble to locate up to five people whose whereabouts remain unknown.
“As of 7 am, three people were killed, two people were wounded and one person was rescued. There are probably four people under the rubble,” the State Emergency Service reported.
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Andriy Nebytov, the head of the police of the Kyiv region, said: “Three people were killed and 7 people were injured as a result of drones hitting a dormitory building in one of the districts of Kyiv region.
“The first explosions rang out around 3 am, followed by a number of others.
“We see that the enemy once again attacked the civilian infrastructure, innocent people were killed, including the ambulance driver who came to save citizens. This is another shameful war crime of the occupier.”
Russia reportedly launched 21 Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones overnight, with Ukraine’s General Staff of the Armed Forces reporting on Wednesday morning that they had shot down 16 of them.
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In neighbouring Zhytomyr province exploding drones damaged infrastructure facilities, according to regional Gov. Vitalii Bunechko. He said Ukrainian air defences shot down three drones.
Ukraine’s state broadcaster Suspilne said “three Russian drones” had been shot down in the Zhytomyr area, while further explosions were heard in nearby Khmelnytskyi.
They wrote on Telegram: “In Zhytomyr oblast, three Russian drones were shot down at night, an infrastructure object was damaged, there were no casualties.
“At night, explosions were also heard in Khmelnytskyi: the anti-aircraft defence was activated, there were no hits in the territory of the community.”
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The drone strikes came just hours after the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited Kyiv to affirm his nation’s support for Ukraine.
Japan’s top government spokesman said on Wednesday that Mr Kishida’s visit was “very meaningful” for Japan’s future support for Ukraine, while it showed they were taking a leadership role as president of the Group of Seven nations in responding to the issue.
“Through Prime Minister Kishida’s visit to Ukraine, Japan was able to show not only to other members of the G-7 but also the international society including the Global South (nations) its determination to defend the rules-based international society,” he said.
Mr Matsuno noted that the China-Russia summit took place almost at the same time as Kishida’s visit to Ukraine, and said “President Xi (Jinping)’s visit to Russia only underscored the unwavering ties between China and Russia despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel noted the “two very different European-Pacific partnerships” that unfolded on Tuesday.
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