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Ukraine mentioned on Saturday it had downed 74 out of 75 Russian drones in a single day, in what it mentioned was the most important such assault because the begin of the invasion.

The Ukrainian military mentioned Russia had launched a “document quantity” of Iranian-made Shahed drones, the vast majority of which focused Kyiv, inflicting energy cuts as temperatures dipped under freezing.

The drone assault got here as Ukraine marked Holodomor Remembrance Day, commemorating the Nineteen Thirties hunger of hundreds of thousands in Ukraine beneath Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

“The enemy launched a document variety of assault drones at Ukraine! The principle route of the assault is Kyiv,” mentioned the commander of Ukraine’s air drive, Normal Mykola Oleshchuk.

The air drive mentioned it had downed “74 out of 75” Shahed drones.

Kyiv authorities mentioned 5 folks — together with an 11-year-old — have been wounded within the capital, the place the air raid lasted six hours.

Falling drone particles had sparked fires and broken buildings throughout the town, Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko mentioned.

AFP noticed Kyiv residents clearing smashed home windows and different harm within the metropolis’s Dniprovsky district, with ambulances parked close by.

One of many buildings that was broken housed a nursery and one other had a part of its prime ground destroyed.

Native resident Viktor Vasylenko mentioned he had soothed his younger daughter, who skilled “panic and nausea” throughout the lengthy night-time assaults as they sheltered in a hall.

The 38-year-old mentioned his household at all times has “every part ready” in case of such assaults however it was the primary time one had hit so shut.

“My spouse thought that the home would collapse in half,” he mentioned.

Latvia’s president, Edgars Rinkevics, on a go to to Kyiv throughout the assault, posted a photograph of himself on social media inside a darkish bomb shelter.

Dozens of buildings had their energy reduce off after the assaults however Ukraine’s power ministry mentioned electrical energy was later restored.

Greater than 21 months into Moscow’s offensive, preventing is most intense within the east of Ukraine and is now centered across the metropolis of Avdiivka, which is sort of encircled by Russian forces.

Zelensky Marks Holodomor

Ukraine’s military mentioned that whereas the “foremost goal” of the assault was Kyiv, air protection had additionally been known as into motion throughout the south.

Kyiv mentioned it was “symbolic” that the capital had been the topic of such a large-scale assault on the day Ukraine marks Holodomor.

“Greater than 70 Shahed on the evening of the Holodomor Remembrance Day… The Russian management is happy with the truth that it might probably kill,” President Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned on social media.

Zelensky attended a ceremony with Kyiv’s prime army brass, holding candles, to mark the occasion.

Ukraine says Holodomor — Ukrainian for “dying by hunger” — was triggered intentionally by Soviet agricultural insurance policies.

Moscow denies this, and says it was a part of a wider famine that additionally affected Russian elements of the Soviet Union.

Zelensky mentioned it was “unimaginable” for Kyiv to forgive or overlook the “horrific crimes of genocide” and thanked the rising variety of international locations that had recognised Holodomor as a deliberate crime towards Ukraine.

Ukrainian officers made comparisons between Holodomor and right now’s Russian invasion.

“For them, it was about killing Ukrainians then and it’s now,” Overseas Minister Dmytro Kuleba mentioned on social media.

Swiss Chief in Kyiv

Switzerland’s President Alain Berset was in Kyiv Saturday and paid homage to the victims of Holodomor that he mentioned was “provoked by Soviet leaders.”

The pair mentioned “humanitarian demining, the usage of frozen earnings from the property of the aggressor nation and the peace method,” based on Zelensky.

Switzerland’s well-known custom of neutrality has been examined since Russia invaded Ukraine — the Alpine nation has adopted the EU’s lead on sanctions on Moscow, however has refused to permit international locations that maintain Swiss-made weapons to ship them to Kyiv.

Berset additionally attended a gathering hosted by Zelensky on exporting Ukrainian grain.

Kyiv has arrange a brand new hall within the Black Sea since Moscow pulled out of the UN-brokered grain deal in July, however it continues to function beneath threat.

“We’ve already amassed greater than $100 million” (by means of the Kyiv-installed hall), Zelensky mentioned.

Drones have been extensively used within the battle, with Ukraine additionally launching drones into Russia and annexed Crimea.

In Moscow, Russia’s prime state tv presenters took half in a ceremony bidding farewell to battle correspondent Boris Maksudov, who was killed by a Ukrainian drone in Russian-occupied southern Ukraine earlier this week.

Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded Maksudov a braveness award posthumously on Saturday.