Ukraine Situation Report: 35 Shahed-136s Attacked Kyiv Overnight
One man died in Odesa while several people were injured in Kyiv during the latest volley of Russian missile and drone strikes.
At least one civilian was killed and several injured in Russian strikes on Odesa and Kyiv, according to Ukrainian officials.
"As a result of a Russian missile attack, a warehouse guard near Odesa, who was considered missing, has died," according to the Telegram channel of Operational Command South. "His body was found under the rubble."
The man died in the wake of what Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Col. Yuri Ignat said was an attack by Russian Tu-22M3 Backfire-C bombers launching eight Kh-22 missiles at the Black Sea port city.
A food warehouse and recreation area were hit, Ignat claimed.
"These missiles are powerful, their warhead is 950 kg, (about 2.100 pounds) but they are also inaccurate, so there are often such cases when missiles fall into residential buildings," Ignat said. "We know Kremenchuk [where a shopping center was hit in July], we know Dnipro [where an apartment building was attacked in January] - one of the most telling cases of manifestation of Russian terrorism."
In Kyiv, at least five people were injured by falling debris during what the city's mayor said was "the most massive attack" of the war by Russia's drones. The injuries occurred as a result of the drones being shot down, Kyiv Mayor Ivan Klitschko said on his Telegram channel Monday.
"I visited a high-rise building that was hit by fragments of a Russian drone at night," Klitschko said. "Last night, the barbarians staged the most massive attack with kamikaze drones. Almost 60 [Shaheds] were launched - 36 of them flew to the capital. All were shot down by air defense forces. However, debris from several drones damaged some social facilities and a residential high-rise building in Sviatoshyn district."
The Ukrainian military's tally on the number of drones launched at Kyiv - 35 - differed slightly from Klitschko's.
Even as Ukraine prepares for its looming counteroffensive, it also has to contend with Russian missile and drone attacks, which have slowed at times, but remain a major threat. While Russia may be running low on standoff missiles, it seems the supply of Iranian Shahed-136 drones continues. This also comes as leaked documents stated Ukraine was running very low on critical air defense missile rounds, while MIM-104 Patriot batteries have arrived to help protect critical population centers.
Before we dive into the latest news from Ukraine, The War Zone readers can get caught up on our previous rolling coverage here.
Ignat on Monday explained his initial denial that a U.S.-made Patriot interceptor destroyed a Russian Kh-47 Kinzhal ballistic missile last week. There are two of those systems now operating in Ukraine.
“We didn’t plan to immediately inform both the society and the enemy that the Kinzhal was shot down... Let them think, let them look for where their Kinzhal went. Such a decision was made by the top leadership,” he told reporters Monday during a press briefing.
As we previously reported, a Ukrainian media outlet and open-source intelligence trackers initially published their assessments that missile remnants found in Kyiv appeared to be those of a Kinzhal. Ignat and other Ukrainian officials have frequently said that they were unable to defend against high-speed ballistic-like without a more advanced air defense system like the Patriot.
On Saturday, Ukraine claimed it was indeed a Patriot that took down the Kinzhal, the first time a Kinzhal missile had been destroyed by one of those interceptors, Ignat said. "And when information about this came out from other sources, I had to confirm it," Ignat said Monday.
On the battlefield, Russia seems to be preparing for a Ukrainian counteroffensive in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. As we wrote back in December, that attack, aimed ultimately at the liberation of Crimea, could run through the city of Melitopol as well as the city of Tokmak, about 30 miles to the northeast.
In recent days, the Russians appear to have been getting ready to defend against such an attack.
“There is an assumption that the occupiers are plotting provocations. Let’s look at the example of Tokmak, where they have been massively evacuating people from since yesterday," Ivan Federov, the exiled Ukrainian Mayor of Melitopol, said on national television according to the Ukrainian Ukrinform news agency. "A bus or a convoy of buses departs every 20-30 minutes. But, only one-third of those traveling are civilians. The rest are soldiers in disguise. Mostly, these buses go to Berdiansk, where civilians are left, and the military are taken to Mariupol."
There are now "huge queues for bread in Tokmak, and most filling stations have run out of gasoline," said Federov. "Stores are no longer receiving goods, and some of them have already shut down. Hospitals are closing in the city, and patients are discharged early."
Additionally, "Russian occupiers are threatening the locals that power and water supply services will be interrupted in case of Ukraine’s counteroffensive."
Even though heavy cloud cover is obscuring the view from space, near-infrared satellite imagery shows that Russian tactical aviation is still active over Ukraine. OSINT researcher Brady Africk tweeted images showing fighter jet contrails showing that Russia is flying combat aircraft over occupied eastern Ukraine and the Sea of Azov.
During a visit to Canada, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak provided more details about his nation's contribution of MiG-29 Fulcrum Fighters to Ukraine, saying 10 have been delivered so far. In March, Pawel Szrot, head of the president’s office in Warsaw, said Poland would “certainly not” deliver more than 14 of the jets, around 28 of which serve with the Polish Air Force today. You can read more about the Polish Fulcrum contribution to Ukraine in our story here.
The Croatian T-Portal news agency reported that the first nine of those aircraft flew to Ukraine while the remaining three will be sent by truck.
Continuing their innovative efforts, Ukrainian technicians are making a heavy infantry fighting vehicle out of captured Russian armor by placing the turret of a BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle, armed with a 30mm 2A42 autocannon, atop the armored hull of an old T-62 tank.
Thanks to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's UNITED24 organization, eight new drone strike companies are ready for battle, equipped with pickups, attack copters and FPV drones.
UAVs for the Army purchased drones within the framework of President Volodymyr Zelensky's UNITED24 platform and at the expense of the state budget.
The drones are all made by Ukraine, which produces thousands each month, according to Ukrainian Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov's Telegram channel.
And finally, war or no war, the pink flamingos have returned to the Tuzly Estuaries National Park in the Odesa Oblast.
That's it for now. We'll update this story when we have more news to report about Ukraine.
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