Ukraine Russia news – live: Zelensky says 37 Iranian drones were shot down in Kiev attack

Destroyed buildings burn after Russian missile strikes on Kiev

Volodymyr Zelensky says his forces intercepted and shot down nearly 40 Iranian suicide drones and several cruise missiles in just 12 hours during the early morning attack on central Kiev.

“In just 12 hours from 9 p.m. Sunday, 37 Iranian ‘Shaheds’ and several cruise missiles were destroyed,” Zelensky said in his overnight speech.

“The world can and must stop this terror. When we talk about Ukraine’s need for air and missile defense, we are talking about real lives taken by terrorists,” the war president said.

He also addressed Vladimir Putin directly in a rare move, saying the Russian president “killed another pregnant woman” in his “terrorist attack”.

“A man and a six-month pregnant girl… Vladimir Putin may mark another ‘achievement’ – he killed another pregnant woman,” Mr Zelensky said.

This is because at least 13 have been killed in Russia after one of the country’s own warplanes crashed into a residential building in the southern city of Yeysk on Monday shortly after takeoff, AFP reported.

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Explained: ‘Kamikaze’ drones from the poor man’s cruise missile

Russia has unleashed successive waves of Iran-made Shahed drones over Ukraine in its renewed effort to penetrate Ukraine’s skies.

Russia’s multiple strikes using this drone, known as the “poor man’s cruise missile,” have left nearly two dozen dead and several injured.

“Kamikaze drones” unleashed by Moscow have multiple goals: it takes out key targets, crushes morale, and eventually drains the enemy’s war chest and weapons as they attempt to take them out.

Read more about these Iranian suicide drones here:

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Zelensky calls on locals for troop exchange: ‘More Russian prisoners needed’

Volodymyr Zelensky again appealed to the Ukrainians to help replenish the so-called “exchange fund” of captured troops of the besieged country.

“…I also thank all those who replenish our exchange fund, who ensure that enemies are captured,” Mr Zelensky said in his overnight address.

“The more Russian prisoners we have, the faster we can free our heroes. Every Ukrainian fighter, every frontline commander should remember this,” he said.

Zelensky said Ukraine released another tranche of captured Ukrainians from Russian captivity on Monday.

“We managed to return 108 Ukrainian women,” he said, saying 96 of them served in the armed forces as “officers, sergeants, soldiers. Army, Navy, Territorial Defense, National Guard, Border Guards.” 37 of them are evacuees from Azovstal,” he added, while 12 were civilians.

“Among those released today are those who were captured long before the large-scale war. We don’t forget any of our people – we have to give them all back. And we will return them all,” said Mr. Zelensky.

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At least 13 killed in Russian fighter plane crash in Yeysk

The death toll in the crash of a Russian fighter jet in Russia’s southern city of Yeysk has risen to 13, officials said.

Another 19 people were injured after the fighter jet struck and crashed into a residential building, immediately setting the property on fire, local officials said.

Footage from the crash showed explosions aboard the Sukhoi Su-34 supersonic medium-range fighter-bomber as it dove toward the apartments.

The crash hit large parts of the nine-storey building, causing explosions and fires on Monday evening.

Officials later said the fire had been extinguished.

The plane crashed during a training flight from a military airport, the Russian news agency RIA reported.

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Russia still hasn’t notified US of expected nuclear exercises – official

Russia has not notified the US of whether it is conducting exercises of its nuclear forces amid speculation the Kremlin is bracing for such exercises soon, a senior US military official said Monday.

The official told Reuters: “No, we have not received any official notification,” when asked whether Washington has been informed of the expected nuclear exercises.

The New START treaty states that both the US and Russia will be given advance notice of any nuclear tests, US officials say, but this is yet to come.

U.S. officials say Russia is likely to conduct test launches of missiles during its annual “Grom” exercises of its strategic nuclear forces, and can be expected to do so within days.

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Zelensky says 37 Iranian drones were shot down in Kiev attack

Volodymyr Zelensky says his forces intercepted and shot down nearly 40 Iranian suicide drones and several cruise missiles in just 12 hours during the early morning attack on central Kiev.

“In just 12 hours from 9 p.m. Sunday, 37 Iranian ‘Shaheds’ and several cruise missiles were destroyed,” Zelensky said in his overnight speech.

According to Kiev, these drones were used in Russian attacks that killed 19 people last week, before a widespread and deadly attack on the Ukrainian capital and other cities on Monday led to international condemnation.

“The world can and must stop this terror. When we talk about Ukraine’s need for air and missile defense, we are talking about real lives being taken by terrorists,” the wartime president said, calling for more military aid and air defense systems.

He added: “But to ensure the protection of our airspace and reduce the capabilities of Russian terrorists to zero, we need significantly more modern air defense systems and a larger missile supply for such systems.”

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Putin killed another pregnant woman in Kiev attacks, says Zelensky

Volodymyr Zelensky addressed Vladimir Putin directly in his late-night speech on Monday, saying his Russian counterpart is responsible for the death of a pregnant woman in the suicide drone attacks on Kiev earlier in the day.

“In Kiev, they murdered a young family targeting an apartment building with an Iranian ‘Shahed’. A boy and a girl 6 months pregnant… Vladimir Putin can mark another ‘achievement’ – he killed another pregnant woman,” said Mr Zelensky.

He added that Ukrainian services continue to clear places where the “Russian terrorists managed to hit”.

“A total of four people died because of this ‘Shahed’ alone. There were other hits. More than 25 settlements of our country were attacked this night and morning,” Zelensky said.

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Good morning, welcome to our coverage of the war in Ukraine on Tuesday, October 18.

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