Explosions were heard in Kyiv early Monday morning, amid repeated attacks against the Ukrainian capital from Russia forces over the past week.
Kyiv city mayor Vitaliy Klichko announced that the Shevchenko district was impacted, urging residents to take shelter. Klichko reported that several apartment blocks were damaged, in addition to a fire igniting in a non-residential building.
Black smoke and flames were seen near the apparent strike, but it is unclear if there were any casualties. The explosion sounds were reportedly heard in the same Kyiv district where a missile recently destroyed a children’s playground.
Russian forces have attacked Kyiv consistently with so-called “kamikaze” drones over the past week. The Shahed-136 drones, which are manufactured in Iran, have been used by Russia to target vital energy infrastructure and urban centers.
The use of Shahed-136 drones ramped up after the Russo-Ukrainian War escalated through Vladimir Putin’s annexation of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions in September. Strikes in central Kyiv were rare occurrences before Putin’s illegal annexation, which has been denounced by Western leaders.
Putin has defended last week’s strikes, saying there were in retaliation against Ukrainian forces bombing a Crimean bridge.
Over the weekend, there was intense fighting around the cities of Bakhmut and Soledar in the Donetsk region, as well as the Luhansk region, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The Donetsk region’s Russian-backed government reported on Sunday that its central administrative building was directly hit by Ukraine, but did not report casualties.
The Associated Press and Fox News’ Peter Aitken contributed to this report.