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Russia launches cluster of 13 Iranian-made drones at Kyiv in suspected energy attack

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Dec 14, 2022

Russia launched 13 Iranian-made Shahed drones into Kyiv Wednesday, in one of the largest attempted strikes of its kind on the Ukraine capital, Fox News Digital was told.

All 13 drones were apparently targeting energy infrastructure but were downed before they reached their targets and no military or civilian casualties have been reported, city administrative and defense officials said.

Air raid sirens rang out shortly before 6 a.m. local time after a barrage of Shahed drones were reportedly fired over a period of three hours, Kyiv’s Regional Military Administration confirmed Wednesday.

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One source told Fox News Digital that Russia was looking to hit the city’s energy infrastructure and in a Telegram post city officials said, “once again [Russia] targeted the critical infrastructure of the region and the capital.”

Denys Ganzha, head of the Ukraine Frontline Media Platform, told Fox News Digital that the attack targeted the outskirts of the city in two waves as people got ready for work Wednesday morning, though he did not believe the downtown area was directly threatened.

“Russians were trying to attack the energy infrastructure of Kyiv because this is what they’re really trying to achieve – to make a total blackout in the capital and in the whole country,” he said, noting that Russian forces have been targeting all of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure ranging from large power plants to small transmitters. 

“They’re just trying to make sure that our energy system is not working, so that we have not enough electricity to continue our existence,” he added.

At least two government buildings and one private home were damaged by falling drone debris, though the exact extent of the damage is still unclear, according to officials.

U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink responded to the attacks in a tweet and said, “Drones in Kyiv this morning, but I know waking up to Russia’s bombs is an all too common experience endured with bravery and dignity across Ukraine every.”

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“We’re with you – more support is on the way,” she added.

Brink did not expand on the nature of the additional support Kyiv can expect, though Fox News confirmed Tuesday that the Pentagon is looking to send the war-torn country Patriot missile defense systems capable of downing manned and unmanned aircraft, along with cruise and ballistic missiles. 

Russia’s stalled progression on the front lines and recent battlefield losses has prompted it to increasingly rely on targeting Ukraine’s energy systems in an apparent attempt to block civilian access to running water, electricity and heat as the winter months set in.

Western officials have accused Moscow of “weaponizing winter” and some 70 nations and entities on Tuesday pledged to provide Ukraine with $1 billion in support for its energy system to help get Ukraine through the winter months.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said this week that somewhere between 40% and 50% of Ukraine’s electrical grid was down due to Russian strikes. 

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