Russia attacks Kyiv and Odesa with drones before NATO summit


By Valentyn Ogirenko and Gleb Garanich

KYIV (Reuters) -Russia attacked Kyiv and the southern port of Odesa with drones early on Tuesday, Ukrainian officials said, hours before the start of a NATO summit in Lithuania discussing security threats from Moscow.

Russian forces also shelled parts of the southern region of Kherson, killing a woman in the village of Sofiivka, regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said.

“The enemy attacked Kyiv from the air for the second time this month,” Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv military administration, wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

He made no mention of any casualties in the capital, but Ukraine’s military said falling debris had damaged a number of houses in the region after the drones were shot down.

The air force said 26 of the 28 kamikaze Iranian-made Shahed drones launched by Russia overnight had been shot down.

Twenty-two of the drones were shot down over Odesa on the Black Sea though an administration building in the port was damaged, and a fire at a grain terminal near the port was quickly extinguished, regional governor Oleh Kiper said.

In the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the Western military alliance would send Ukraine a “positive message” on its path to membership.

Moscow has cited NATO’s eastward expansion as a factor in its decision to send troops into Ukraine in February 2022, and says moving alliance infrastructure towards Russia’s borders is a mistake.

Russia has launched frequent air strikes on Ukraine, including an attack on Sunday which officials said struck a humanitarian aid distribution point in the southeastern town of Orikhiv, killing seven people.

The interior ministry said Russia had launched another attack as the search and rescue operation continued.

Reuters could not verify the reports. Russia denies deliberately targeting civilians.

(Writing by Lidia Kelly and Anna Pruhnicka; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Simon Cameron-Moore and Timothy Heritage)

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