Ukraine downed 58 out of 59 drones in Russia’s overnight attack, says Kyiv

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Kyiv on Sunday said it had shot down 58 out of the 59 drones that Russia launched in an overnight attack. The attack was the largest of its kind on the Ukrainian capital since the start of the war, according to local officials. Read our live blog for all the latest developments in the war in Ukraine. All times are Paris time (GMT+2). 

9:15pm: Putin congratulates Erdogan on presidential results

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated his “dear friend” Tayyip Erdogan who claimed victory in Turkey’s presidential election on Sunday, saying the win was evidence the Turkish people appreciated Erdogan’s independent foreign policy.

“The election victory was a natural result of your selfless work as the head of the Republic of Turkey, clear evidence of the support of the Turkish people for your efforts to strengthen state sovereignty and conduct an independent foreign policy,” Putin said in a message to Erdogan, according to the Kremlin.

“We highly appreciate your personal contribution to the strengthening of friendly Russian-Turkish relations and mutually beneficial cooperation in various areas,” Putin said.

Putin said he attached great importance to joint projects such as Turkey’s Akkuyu nuclear power plant, which is being built by Russia’s state energy group Rosatom, and a gas hub which Putin has proposed in Turkey.

6:21pm: Ukraine shot down 58 out of 59 Russian drones, Kyiv says

Ukraine said Sunday that its air defence forces had shot down 58 out of 59 drones launched by Russia overnight, mainly targeting the capital Kyiv. 

“The Russian Federation carried out another massive attack on the territory of Ukraine, using Iranian attack drones Shahed,” the Ukrainian General Staff said, adding that “according to updated information, 58 out of 59 (drones) were shot down by our defenders.” Ukraine’s air force had earlier said that a record of 54 drones had been launched.

5:44pm: Zelensky puts forward Iran sanction bill, Kyiv says

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has put forward a bill that would see Ukraine impose sanctions on Russian ally Iran for 50 years, Zelensky’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak said on Sunday, a response to what Kyiv says is Tehran’s weapons supplies to Moscow.

Kyiv and its allies say Iran has been supplying Russia with arms, including hundreds of drones, since Moscow invaded Ukraine last year. Tehran rejects the allegations.

If passed by Ukraine’s parliament, the bill would stop Iranian goods transitting through Ukraine and use of its airspace, as well as imposing trade, financial and technology sanctions against Iran and its citizens.

12:45pm: Zelensky praises air defence ‘heroes’ after Kyiv drone attack

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday hailed his country’s air defence forces and rescue services after the capital withstood the largest Russian drone attack since the beginning of the invasion.

“You look up to destroy enemy missiles, aircraft, helicopters, and drones. Every time you shoot down enemy drones and missiles, lives are saved… you are heroes!” Zelensky said, also thanking rescuers. 

11:21am: Russia warns West ‘playing with fire’ over F-16 jets for Ukraine

Russia’s top diplomat warned Sunday that Western nations were “playing with fire” by agreeing to provide Ukraine with US-made F-16 fighter jets, calling it “an unacceptable escalation” of the conflict.

“It’s playing with fire, without a doubt,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an excerpt from a Russian TV interview posted on social media, denouncing an attempt to “weaken Russia” by “Washington, London and their satellites in the EU”.

9:18am: ‘Most important’ attack on Kyiv since invasion, say Ukrainian authorities

Russia carried out the “most important” drone attack on Kyiv overnight from Saturday to Sunday since the start of the invasion, military authorities said.

Forty of the 54 drones launched targeted the capital, killing two people and wounding three. They were launched “from the regions of Briansk and Krasnodar” in Russia, said the air force, adding that 52 were destroyed.

“In total a record number of explosive drones launched were counted: 54!” Ukraine’s air force said in a Telegram post on Sunday. “It’s the most important drone attack against the capital since the start of the invasion” in February 2022, the regional military administration said, also on Telegram.

The attack “took place over several waves and the air raid alert lasted more than five hours”,  the 14th drone attack on the Ukraine capital by Russia this month, authorities said.

9:16am: Ukraine strikes Russia with drone attacks and shelling

Ukraine struck oil pipeline installations deep inside Russia on Saturday with a series of drone attacks including on a station serving the Druzhba pipeline, while shelling from Ukraine killed at least two, Russian officials and media said.

FRANCE 24 former Moscow correspondent Nick Holdsworth has more on the attacks.

Attacks inside Russia: Two killed in shelling in Russian border regions (officials)
Attacks inside Russia: Two killed in shelling in Russian border regions (officials) © France 24


6:55am: Russia thwarts drone attack on Krasnodar oil refinery, officials say

Russia‘s air defence systems destroyed several drones as they approached the Ilsky oil refinery in the Krasnodar region near the Black Sea, local officials said on Sunday.

“Several unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) tried to approach the territory of the Ilsky oil refinery in the Krasnodar Krai,” the region’s emergency officials said on the Telegram messaging channel.

“All of them were neutralised, the infrastructure of the plant was not damaged.

3:43am: More than 40 Russia-launched drones downed in Kyiv’s airspace, officials say

More than 40 drones launched by Russia overnight were downed in Kyiv‘s airspace, the capital’s military administration officials said on Sunday on its Telegram messaging channel.

3:34am: ‘Massive’ Russian drone attack kills one in Kyiv

One civilian has died in Kyiv after a “massive” drone attack on the Ukrainian capital, the city’s mayor Vitaly Klitschko said Sunday.

“A 35-year-old woman was hospitalised, a 41-year-old man died,” the mayor and former boxer said on Telegram, reporting that drone wreckage had crashed near a petrol station.

He said Kyiv’s air defences had shot down “more than 20 drones” headed for the city, and implored city residents: “Stay in shelters. The attack is massive!”

A fire also broke out at a company premises in the Holosiivskyi district, he added

1:02am: Putin orders stronger Russian border security

President Vladimir Putin on Sunday ordered stronger border security to ensure “fast” Russian military and civilian movement into Ukrainian regions now under Moscow control.

Speaking in a congratulatory message to the border service, a branch of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), on their Border Guard Day holiday, Putin said their task was to “reliably cover” the lines in the vicinity of the combat zone.

Attacks inside Russia have been growing in intensity in recent weeks, chiefly with drone strikes on regions along the border but increasingly also deep into the country, including on an oil pipeline northwest of Moscow on Saturday.


Key developments from Saturday, May 28:

Hundreds of German civil servants working in the education and cultural sectors will need to leave Russia following a request by Moscow, a German government source told AFP Saturday. 

Shelling in Russian regions bordering Ukraine killed two people on Saturday, regional authorities said. The regional governor of Belgorod said there were fresh attacks, a day after dozens of strikes.

Read yesterday’s live blog to see how the day’s events unfolded.

© France Médias Monde graphic studio


(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP & Reuters)

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