Updated Oct 18, 2022 - World

Death toll rises from "kamikaze" drone strikes in Kyiv

 Firefighters conduct work in a destroyed building after Russian attacks in Kyiv, Ukraine on October 17.

Firefighters at the site of a destroyed building after Russian attacks in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Monday. Photo: Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Kyiv was hit Monday by multiple explosions in which at least five people died and that Ukrainian officials said were caused by Iranian drones sent by Russian forces.

The big picture: Russian President Vladimir Putin's forces stepped up attacks since last Monday when he ordered a missile bombardment on Kyiv and cities across Ukraine in retaliation for the explosion of a bridge linking mainland Russia with occupied Crimea that he blamed on Ukrainian forces.

A tweet by Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitchko showing the image of the remains of an Iranian drone.
Mayor Vitali Klitschko posted an image of what he describes as "the wreckage of one of the kamikaze drones that attacked Kyiv" on Monday morning. Screenshot: Mayor Vitali Klitschko/Twitter

Details: Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram the Ukrainian capital's central Shevchenkiv district was among the areas hit on Monday morning.

  • Klitschko wrote in another post that 28 drones had flown toward Kyiv and that most were shot down.
  • At least five people have died as a result of the attacks as search and rescue operations continue, Klitschko wrote in a Telegram post. He said the body of an elderly woman was recovered in the rubble.
  • One of the drones struck a residential building and killed three people inside, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the president's office, wrote on Telegram.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a Telegram post Monday that kamikaze drones and missiles were "attacking all of Ukraine."

What they're saying: "All night and all morning, the enemy terrorizes the civilian population," Zelensky said. "The enemy can attack our cities, but it won't be able to break us."

Meanwhile, Andriy Yermak, Zelensky's chief of staff, in a Telegram post on Monday said Ukraine needed "more air defense systems and as soon as possible."

  • "We have no time for slow actions. More weapons to defend the sky and destroy the enemy," Yermak added.

Worth noting: "U.S. and allied security officials say Iran is preparing to send more weapons, including attack drones, to boost Russia’s depleted stockpiles," the Washington Post reports.

  • Iran Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani during a news conference Monday denied Iran is providing Russia with drones, per Reuters.

Go deeper: U.S. to give $725 million in additional defense aid to Ukraine

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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