A little before 7am on Monday, people in Kyiv heard a whining sound overhead before identifying where it was coming from – a group of "kamikaze" drones flying into the city. Drones have been widely used on both sides of the Ukraine conflict, but these were the first Russian attacks that deployed swarms of the aircraft. Videos and images began to circulate on social media of the drones flying directly over urban infrastructure such as power stations, residential buildings and railways as civilians and soldiers tried to shoot them down with guns. About 28 were launched on Monday morning in Kyiv. At least four civilians were killed after one of the aircraft hit a residential building.
Ret. Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg joined'Your World' to discuss NATO holding nuclear exercises and recent Iranian-made'kamikaze' drones striking Kyiv. Russian drone and missile attacks have destroyed nearly a third of Ukraine's power stations, but Ukrainian forces continue to gain ground President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced Tuesday. Russia has launched barrages of missiles, shells and other ordnance into Ukrainian cities in a campaign that started after the bombing of the Kerch Bridge on October 8. The attacks have targeted population centers, parks and infrastructure as Ukraine's cold winter approaches. "Since Oct 10, 30% of Ukraine's power stations have been destroyed, causing massive blackouts across the country," Zelenskyy announced Tuesday.
The Ukrainian army's astute use of drones has been a cornerstone of its defence against the powerful Russian invader, but experts say their role is beginning to fade as heavy artillery takes over. In the early phase of the war, Ukraine's sky seemed filled with the remote-controlled aircraft deployed by President Volodymyr Zelensky's army to spy on the enemy, or go on the attack. During Moscow's early advance on Kyiv "it would have been extremely challenging for Ukraine to block (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's army without drones", said Paul Lushenko, a US Army Lieutenant Colonel and PhD student at Cornell University. "They could compound or exacerbate Putin's strategic and logistical challenges," he told AFP. The Turkish-made Bayraktar drone, known as TB-2, already famous worldwide, added to its stellar reputation during the defence of Ukraine's capital. On top of providing intelligence on Russian movements, drones also helped Ukraine offset much of its air force's weakness compared to that of Russia.