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Russia-Ukraine war: Missile strike targets Kyiv; explosive derails Russian freight cars

A portrait of a soldier and Ukrainian flags are seen Nov. 11, 2023, at a memorial dedicated to the fallen soldiers of Ukrainian armed forces in Zaporizhzhia. (Andriy Andriyenko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces targeted Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, as part of an overnight bombardment felt across the country, local officials said Saturday, while drones that Russian officials blamed on the Ukrainian military targeted areas around Moscow and the region of Smolensk.

A ballistic missile was shot down as it approached the Ukrainian capital, said Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv City Military Administration. He said that no one was injured.

The Ukrainian air force later confirmed an Iskander-M ballistic missile was used in the attack, the first attempted missile strike on Kyiv in almost two months.

Elsewhere in Ukraine, the strikes killed four people in three regions: two in Kherson, one in Dnipropetrovsk and another in Zaporizhzhia, local officials reported.

Ukraine’s air defense systems actively repelled attacks in Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Poltava, Sumy, and Kirovohrad regions. The country’s air force said Russian troops launched 31 Shahed-136/131 drones, of which 19 were shot down.

The strike in the Odesa region damaged the city’s port infrastructure and a small community of cottages, injuring three people, including a 96-year-old woman, said regional governor Oleh Kiper.

Russian forces also launched an X-31 aircraft missile, an Onyx anti-ship missile, and an S-300 anti-aircraft guided missile overnight, said Ukrainian military spokesperson Yuri Ihnat, but did not give further details.

In Moscow, Russia’s defense ministry said that its aerial strikes had hit an ammunition depot serving the 43rd mechanized brigade of Ukraine’s Armed Forces near the village of Devichki in the Kyiv region. In an online statement, it said that Ukrainian drones had been shot down over the Smolensk and Moscow regions.

Smolensk governor Vasiliy Anokhin posted on social media that no one was wounded in the attack.

Meanwhile, freight cars carrying cargo in Russia’s Ryazan region were derailed Saturday morning by an improvised explosive device, Russian law enforcement said.

Nineteen carriages traveling from the town of Rybnoye were thrown from the tracks and 15 were damaged, investigators wrote in a statement on social media. They said they would be opening a criminal investigation on terrorism charges.

Both the train driver and assistant train driver received medical attention at the scene.

Russian officials have previously blamed pro-Ukrainian saboteurs for several attacks on the country’s railway system since Moscow invaded the country in February 2022, although no group has claimed responsibility for the damage.

Kyiv has not commented on Saturday’s attacks.