kyiv, Ukraine (AP) — A Russian drone strike in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, killed at least seven people overnight, including three children, the governor of the Kharkiv region said Saturday. Oleh Syniehubov.
It said the Iranian-made Shahed drone hit civil infrastructure in the city’s Nemyshlyan district, causing a massive fire that burned 15 private houses.
Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said more than 50 people had been evacuated and emergency workers had contained the fire by Saturday morning.
The Ukrainian air force said air defense systems destroyed 23 of the 31 Iranian Shahed drones launched by Russia overnight. The drones mainly targeted the northeastern region of Kharkiv and the southern province of Odessa, according to the statement.
Odessa regional governor Oleh Kiper said four people were injured there by the overnight drone strikes.
The attacks came in three waves, he said. The first targeted the regional capital, the port city of Odessa. All nine drones were shot down, but debris damaged port infrastructure and injured one person.
The second and third waves targeted port infrastructure in the Danube River area, Kiper said. In total, 12 drones were shot down and three people were injured.
Romania’s Ministry of National Defense said on Saturday that Russia carried out drone strikes overnight on the Ukrainian river ports of Ismail and Reni, near the border with Romania.
The ministry said a Turkish Air Force F-16 aircraft was deployed from a Romanian air base around 1:15 a.m. to carry out “reconnaissance missions” in the national airspace to monitor the situation. Text alerts were also sent to residents of two counties adjacent to the attacks.
NATO member Romania has discovered drone debris on its territory several times before, following sustained attacks on Ukraine’s port infrastructure as Moscow sought to disrupt Kiev’s ability to export grain and other products to global markets.
Associated Press writers Stephen McGrath in Sighisoara, Romania, and Dasha Litvinova in Tallinn, Estonia, contributed.