Ukraine: Kyiv is targeted by Russian drone strikes
Former US marine and Kyiv resident John Sennett has offered a chilling eyewitness account of a morning of carnage which saw Russia target the Ukrainian capital with Iranian “kamikaze” drones, killing four including a pregnant woman. The 57-year-old New Jersey native admitted the experience had left him and Belarusian wife Natasha badly shaken – and planning to move close to the Romanian border.
Mr Sennett, who offered an insight into last week’s missile attacks in a comment piece for Express.co.uk last week, moved to Ukraine in 2020, and he and Natasha live in centre of Kyiv with their dog Philly.
He told Express.co.uk: “At I guess about 6.30, 6.45 this morning we heard this buzzing noise and then literally maybe three minutes later a huge explosion.
“And so we ran in ran into the hallway and we heard another buzzing noise and then another explosion, probably 700 metres from where we live, I’m guessing about that.
“And then we heard another one a little bit later and then we heard heard a little bit more buzzing here and there and then they put an air raid on saying Caliber missiles had been shot from the Caspian Sea, but they hit Vinnytsia and Lviv, they didn’t hit Kyiv.”
John and Natasha Sennett’s apartment is half a mile from where the drone hit
Ukraine: Firefighters on the scene after the explosion
Mr Sennett said he counted three drones but that Natasha had heard six.
He added: “They sound like a little motor scooter, like a moped, like the older ones that are a little bit louder.
“One went literally went right over our place – you hear them going and then you hear the explosion.
“They destroyed a residential building and killed four people. One was an elderly woman and they found an elderly man and then it was a young married couple and the woman was six months pregnant. It’s just awful.”
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Ukraine: At least four people including a pregnant woman were killed
Asked about his plans in the wake of the latest raids, Mr Sennett said: “We’re going closer to the border of Romania – we’re leaving Sunday night.
“We’re just going to stay on the Ukraine side. And then if things get really bad, the border is 25 miles or so away.”
Mr Sennett suggested Russia, led by President Vladimir Putin, was lashing out from a distance as a reluctance to go hand-to-hand with Ukrainian troops.
He said: “They don’t want to fight the actual military. They’re doing this to scare people and to do what terrorism does and to screw up the power grid obviously.”
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Ukraine: John Sennett said he heard at least three drones overhead
Ukraine: Cars covered in dust from the blast
Nevertheless, he stressed he had seen no indication of Russia’s attacks demoralising ordinary Ukrainians.
He explained: “It was nerve-wracking today for both of us and Philly’s a little bit more skittish than usual but we took him out about an hour and a half ago and people are back out on the streets.
“Not everything’s fully functional again obviously and people on the street was looking at the sky listening, because the thing about these drones is you can hear them coming.”
Speaking earlier, Vitali Klitschko, Kyiv’s mayor, also said a pregnant woman was among those killed.
Ukraine: Rescue crews on the scene
Ukraine’s Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi said there had been deaths in other cities but did not give a full toll.
Ukraine said the attacks were carried out by Iran-made “kamikaze” drones, which fly to their target and detonate.
Russia’s defence ministry said it had carried out a “massive” attack on military targets and energy infrastructure across Ukraine using high-precision weapons.
Iran repeated on Monday its denial that it is supplying the drones to Russia. The Kremlin has not commented.
John Sennett with his dog, Philly
However, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter: “Iran is responsible for the murders of Ukrainians.
“Country that oppresses its own people is now giving ru-monsters (Russians) weapons for mass murders in the heart of Europe.”
A statement carried on the Facebook page of Dattalion, a project founded and run by women in Ukraine and supported by international volunteers, said: “The Russian troops attacked the capital’s central district with kamikaze drones in the morning. Several explosions were recorded. Reportedly, one office and several residential buildings were hit.
“One residential building caught fire. At least 18 people were rescued, while two residents remained under the rubble. Rescuers and firefighters have been working on the spot.”