Russia has stepped up its attacks on Kyiv in recent weeks, seeking to overwhelm the capital’s defences.
The overnight attack – Russia’s 14th air attack on Kyiv this month – came as the people of the capital prepared to celebrate Kyiv Day, the anniversary of the city’s foundation more than 1,500 years ago.
In a remarkable demonstration of resilience, people took to parks, bars and restaurants in the capital to celebrate the holiday.
Kyiv’s mayor Vitaliy Klitschko earlier described the overnight attack as “massive”, saying drones were “arriving from several directions at once”.
Some buildings, including a tobacco factory, caught fire after being hit by falling drone fragments.
Elsewhere, in the city of Zhytomyr in the north-west of Ukraine, at least 26 residential buildings were damaged as well as schools and medical units, according to online news site Ukrayinska Pravda.
But military commanders said Ukraine’s air defence forces had shot down 58 out of 59 Iranian-made drones launched by Russia.
Praising his air force, Mr Zelensky said: “Every time you shoot down enemy drones and missiles, lives are saved… you are heroes.”
He later added in his evening address: “Most of the destruction was averted, and most of the lives that could have been taken by these shaheds [drones] were saved. I am grateful to each and every person who made it possible.” (BBC)