Russia launches air attack on Kyiv hours before NATO summit

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Russia launched an overnight air strike on Kyiv in early hours on Tuesday, Ukraine’s military said, just hours before the start of the NATO summit in Lithuania that is to tackle security threats from Moscow.

“The enemy attacked Kyiv from the air for the second time this month, Serhiy Popko, a head of Kyiv’s military administration, said in a post on the Telegram channel.

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According to preliminary information, Ukraine’s air defense systems shot down all the Iranian-made Shahed drones Russia launched before they reached their targets, Popko said. There was no immediate information about damage or casualties.

Air raid alerts blasted over Kyiv for an hour and longer in other parts of Ukraine’s east, according to Ukraine’s Air Force.

Reuters’ witnesses in Kyiv heard blasts resembling the sound of air defense systems intercepting targets during the air raid.

The summit in Vilnius, which starts on Tuesday, will be dominated by the repercussions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with leaders set to approve NATO’s first comprehensive plans since the end of the Cold War to defend against any attack from Moscow.

Russia berated the alliance and its leading power, the United States, over their support for Ukraine and has warned that Kyiv’s potential membership of NATO would be met with a “clear and firm” reaction.

The Russian invasion on its neighbor, now in its 503rd day and with no end in sight, has killed thousands of people, displaced millions and turned many cities in Ukraine’s east and south into piles of rubble.

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