Find it, target it, shoot it.
The drill is the same for Ukraine’s air defense crews as they work round the clock to combat the relentless barrage of missiles the Russians launch at Kyiv, mostly foiling the most intense bombardment of the capital since the first weeks of the war.
In the month of May alone, Russia bombarded Kyiv 17 times. It has fired hypersonic missiles from MIG-31 fighter jets and attacked with land-based ballistic missiles powerful enough to level an entire apartment block. Russian bombers and ships have fired dozens of long-range cruise missiles, and more than 200 attack drones have featured in blitzes meant to confuse and overwhelm Ukrainian air defenses.
It presents a constant struggle for Ukrainian defenders. Russian assaults can be unrelenting. They come mostly at night, but sometimes in daytime hours, as they did on Monday.
Even when Ukraine manages to blast missiles from the sky, falling debris can bring death and destruction. Early Thursday, Russia sent a volley of 10 ballistic missiles at Kyiv; Ukrainian officials said they were all shot down but that falling fragments killed three people, including a child, and injured more than a dozen others.