Russia fires 18 cruise missiles, 5 drones at Ukraine one day after US, allies pledge to boost Kyiv air defense

Russian forces fired 18 cruise missiles and five drones at Ukrainian targets on Thursday, just one day after Western allies vowed to send Kyiv what it needs to bolster its air defenses.

Sirens rang out across the country in the morning as Ukraine’s defenses scrambled to block the latest barrage of missile fire and drone strikes, this time focused largely in the Dnipropetrovsk region, west of the Zaporizhzhia and Luhansk regions and north of Kherson.

The Ukrainian air force said that at least six of the cruise missiles were struck down by air defense systems and all five Iran-supplied Shahed-136 drones, fired from Belarusian territory, were also stopped.

Police officers shoot at a drone during a Russian drone strike, which local authorities consider to be Iranian-made Shahed-136 unmanned aerial vehicles, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine Oct. 17, 2022.
(REUTERS/Vadim Sarakhan/File Photo)

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At least four people have been reportedly killed in the strike and more than a dozen were wounded after a residential building was struck, according to the Associated Press.

Another two cruise missiles were also struck down over Kyiv, as reported by the city’s military administration.

Russia has intensified its aerial attacks while its ground forces continue to see setbacks as Ukraine forces push the front lines farther east.

A view of a crater and damaged house after a missile strike in a residential quarter in the village of Solonka near the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, on Nov. 16, 2022. A 37-year-old man, who suffered from an explosion in Solonka, was hospitalized in serious condition.
(Photo by Pavlo Palamarchuk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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Since Nov. 11, Russia has launched nearly 150 missiles and over 25 kamikaze drones against Ukraine, according to General Staff Deputy Chief Oleksii Hromov, Ukrainian news outlets reported Thursday.

Ukraine’s armed forces have reportedly stopped 102 air strikes over the last six days.

The latest strikes come one day after the U.S. and allies from nearly 50 nations met to discuss what Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin described as the “right mix” of arms to help Ukraine “prevent the Russians from achieving air superiority.”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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“As Ukraine continues to fight, air defense capabilities are becoming critical,” he told reporters. “An integrated air and missile defense system is what is necessary as Ukraine repels Russian aerial attacks.”

The U.S. pledged to send another $400 million in security aid last week. On Wednesday, Austin said that U.S.-supplied NASAMS air defense systems have had a 100% success rate in Ukraine.