Russia launches 'exceptional' air attack on Kiev as Europe

Ukrainian air defenses thwarted an intense Russian air attack on Kiev early Tuesday, shooting down all 18 missiles aimed at the capital, as European leaders sought new ways to punish Russia for the war and a Chinese envoy sought traction for Beijing's peace proposal.

Loud explosions boomed over Kiev as the nighttime attack combined Russian missiles launched from the air, sea and land in an apparent attempt to overwhelm Ukraine's air defenses. No casualties were reported as Western-supplied weapons helped fend off the assault.

Russia's latest attack on Kiev was "exceptional in its density — the maximum number of attacking missiles in the shortest period of time," said Serhii Popko, the head of the Kiev military administration.

Valentyna Myronets, a 64-year-old Kiev resident, said she felt "pain, fear, nervousness, restlessness" amid the assaults. "God, we are waiting for victory and when all this is over," she said.

The British ambassador to Ukraine, Melinda Simmons, tweeted that the barrage was "pretty intense."

"Bangs and shaking walls are not an easy night," she wrote.

It was the eighth time this month that Russian air raids had targeted the capital, a clear escalation after weeks of lull and ahead of a much-anticipated Ukrainian counter-offensive. It also came as President Volodymyr Zelensky concluded a whirlwind European tour to greet Ukraine's key wartime allies, which spurred an additional tranche of pledged military aid.

Six "Kinzhal" aero-ballistic missiles were launched from MiG-31K aircraft, nine cruise missiles from ships in the Black Sea and three land-based S-400 cruise missiles targeted the capital, Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat said in a statement on Telegram.

After the first onslaught,...

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