Reporter's notebook: Kyiv under attack from Putin's new Iranian drones

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A loud ‘boom’ serves as an alarm clock in Kyiv. Clothes, check. Shoes, check. Go-bag, check. It’s the same routine whenever you’re awakened by a blast. I look out the window and don’t see anything, so I look on Twitter.

A Russian drone is seen during a Russian drone strike, which local authorities consider to be Iranian made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) Shahed-136, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine Oct. 17, 2022. (REUTERS/Roman Petushkov)

A Russian drone is seen during a Russian drone strike, which local authorities consider to be Iranian made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) Shahed-136, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine Oct. 17, 2022. (REUTERS/Roman Petushkov)

Multiple explosions are reported in the Ukrainian capital. After checking in with the team, I go with our head of security to search for what we can see from the hotel. 

While we’re scanning the skyline, we hear the sounds of gunfire and air defense before another loud boom.

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The city is under attack. Ukrainian officials say 28 Iranian-made drones were fired at Kyiv. All but five were shot down.

Rescuers extract a body from a residential building destroyed by a Russian drone strike, which local authorities consider to be Iranian-made Shahed-136 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine Oct. 17, 2022. (REUTERS/Vadim Sarakhan)

Rescuers extract a body from a residential building destroyed by a Russian drone strike, which local authorities consider to be Iranian-made Shahed-136 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine Oct. 17, 2022. (REUTERS/Vadim Sarakhan)

Rather than rush to the site of the explosions, we need to assess the situation. After a few conversations, we determine it’s best to wait until the air raid alert for Kyiv is over and then consider going to report.

After waiting, we head to a residential building that took a direct hit. Upon arrival, the block is still full of smoke and debris. Emergency workers are digging through the rubble to search for survivors.

Firefighters help a local woman evacuate from a residential building destroyed by a Russian drone strike, which local authorities consider to be Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) Shahed-136, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine Oct. 17, 2022. (REUTERS/Vladyslav Musiienko)

Firefighters help a local woman evacuate from a residential building destroyed by a Russian drone strike, which local authorities consider to be Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) Shahed-136, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine Oct. 17, 2022. (REUTERS/Vladyslav Musiienko)

The scene is all too familiar for the Ukrainian capital. The ground looks like it did in late-February after the war began. Piles of bricks and splinters of wood. Smoke clouding the air. 

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In front of us, rescue workers zip up a body bag for a Ukrainian man killed in the explosion. Another innocent victim in this gruesome war. 

Activists protest against Iran allegedly supplying drones to Russia in front of the Iranian embassy after a Russian drone strike in the morning, which local authorities consider to be Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) Shahed-136, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine Oct. 17, 2022. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)

Activists protest against Iran allegedly supplying drones to Russia in front of the Iranian embassy after a Russian drone strike in the morning, which local authorities consider to be Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) Shahed-136, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine Oct. 17, 2022. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)

Nearby a survivor of the attack says she also lived through the Russian strikes on Kyiv last week. “The new normal” as she describes it.

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 “It’s terrifying,” she adds.

 Thanks to my crew: Andrew Fone, Michael Pohl, Dane Kenny, Bogdan Glushko and Vitaliy Henser. This coverage is a team effort.

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