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Ukraine updates: Evacuations in Kyiv after new drone assault

Published May 30, 2023last updated May 30, 2023

A fresh wave of Russian drone attacks have prompted evacuations in the Ukrainian capital. Meanwhile, Zelenskyy has urged South Korea to provide anti-aircraft systems. DW has the latest.

A residential building burns after a Russian drone strike in Kyiv
Russia has frequently attacked civilian infrastructure during its drone attacks on the capital and elsewhereImage: Kyiv City Military Administration/Handout/REUTERS

Ukrainian authorities evacuated residents of a high-rise residential building in Kyiv in the early hours of Tuesday, after it sustained damage in the latest Russian drone attack on the Ukrainian capital.

Falling debris sparked a fire in the building, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

He added that at least one person was killed due to the fire in the district. Twenty people were evacuated, with an elderly woman hospitalized, Klitschko added.

"Massive attack! Stay indoors!" the mayor said.

Kyiv's military administration said air defense forces destroyed over 29 out of 31 drones in the attacks.

Serhiy Popko, the head of Kyiv's military administration, said the attack was conducted using Iranian-made Shahed drones alone

Blazes also broke out in the capital's southern Darnytskyi district and central Pechersky district, the mayor said.

Russia fired a barrage of missiles at the Ukrainian capital on Monday in an unusual daytime attack. Russian forces often attack Kyiv overnight.

Ukraine says 29 Russian drones downed, mostly in Kyiv area

Here are some of the other developments concerning Russia's war in Ukraine on Tuesday, May 30:

Russia says 1.5 million passports issued in occupied Ukraine

Russia has handed out 1.5 million passports in territories it controls in Ukraine, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said.

He referred to the parts of Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions that are under Russian control. Moscow has claimed to have annexed the four regions, despite not controlling them fully. 

The combined prewar population of the four regions was estimated at approximately 8.9 million, but millions of Ukrainians have been displaced by the conflict, with many fleeing to other parts of the country or abroad. 

The EU has said it will not recognize Russian passports issued by Moscow in the "illegally-occupied" regions of Ukraine.

Russia puts Ukraine's top general on wanted list

Russia's Interior Ministry has put Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army, on a "wanted list," the state-run RIA news agency said.

The article he is wanted under has not been specified, RIA reported, citing the ministry's wanted person database.

Earlier this week, Russia's Interior Ministry put US Senator Lindsey Graham on a wanted list.

South Africa faces legal bid to force Putin's arrest

South Africa's largest opposition party is taking legal action to try to force the government to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he visits the country later this year.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in March issued an arrest warrant for Putin after he allegedly ordered the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.

Russia, like the US and China, is not a member of the ICC and does not recognize the warrant. But South Africa, which has invited Putin to the annual summit of BRICS countries, is a member of the ICC.

The BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — are due to meet in Durban in August.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Russia would take part in the summit at the "proper level" and that details would be announced at a later time.

South Africa also faced criticism in the past when former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attended a summit in the country while facing a similar ICC arrest warrant.  

Will South Africa arrest Putin?

Several drones hit Moscow causing 'minor' damage — Russian officials

Moscow's mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, said that a drone attack in the capital caused "minor" damage to several buildings but did not cause serious injury to anyone.

"All emergency services of the city are at the scene of incidents," Sobyanin said on his Telegram messaging channel.

It was reported on several of Russia's Telegram channels that four to 10 drones were shot down around the outskirts of Moscow and in its immediate region. Some residents were being evacuated, according to Sobyanin.

It was not immediately clear who launched the drone attack, but the Kremlin alleged it was a "response" by Kyiv to a recent Russian hit in Ukraine.

"It is completely clear that we are talking about response acts by the Kyiv regime to very effective strikes on a command centre," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, without expanding on where the attack in Kyiv took place.

This was the second attack on Moscow reported this month. Russian authorities said two drones targeted the Kremlin earlier in May.

A broken window in an apartment block in southwestern Moscow hit by a drone
Russian officials say there were no injuries following what they say was a drone attack in MoscowImage: Alexander Shcherbak/TASS//dpa/picture alliance

Zelenskyy asks South Korea for anti-aircraft systems

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged South Korea for anti-aircraft systems to ward off Russian attacks, telling a South Korean newspaper he "desperately hopes" Seoul will provide defensive military equipment.

Zelenskyy thanked the South Korean government for pledging to send some $230 million (approximately €214.5 million) worth of demining vehicles and humanitarian aid. However, he stressed Kyiv's wishlist comprised anti-aircraft and early warning systems.

"I know there are many limitations regarding weapons support, but those principles should not be applied to defense systems and equipment for protecting our assets," he told the Chosun Ilbo daily via an interpreter. 

He argued that an anti-aircraft system was not a weapon but rather defensive equipment.

F-16s for Ukraine: why they matter

"We have to have a sky shield to rebuild Ukraine, and I desperately hope that South Korea will support us in this area," he said.

Ukrainian defense minister calls for 'fighter jet coalition' for Ukraine

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov has proposed that Germany offer Ukraine Eurofighter jets in collaboration with Britain, as Kyiv keeps calling upon Western allies to extend their arms support to fighter jets.

Reznikov told Germany's Funke Mediengruppe on Tuesday that such a move would be "an important step."

He referenced the already existing coalition on providing Ukraine with battle tanks. After an extended debate earlier in the year, Germany agreed to provide Kyiv with Leopard 2 tanks, the US with Abrams and the UK with Challengers. 

"In the same way, we could form a fighter jet coalition with the core F-16 model as well as Eurofighters and Gripen," Reznikov said.

Earlier in May, US President Joe Biden told G7 leaders the US would support the training of Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation multirole fighter jets, including the F-16.

rm, rmt/wd (AFP, Reuters)

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