A Russian attack with Iran-made drones early Monday left two people dead and three more wounded in the western Ukraine city of Khmelnytskyi, the mayor said.
Mayor Oleksandr Symchyshyn said in separate messages on social media that two rescue workers had died in hospital following the attack with more than a dozen unmanned aerial vehicles.
“Unfortunately, we have another hospital death. Doctors failed to save the life of another hero – a rescuer,” he said in the second statement after earlier reporting the first death.
The victims were 21-year-old Vladyslav Dvorak and 31-year-old Sergiy Sevruk, Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klymenko said on Facebook.
The two rescuers worked on the aftermath of a first wave of attack when “the enemy fired again, deliberately, on our heroes without weapons,” Klymenko said.
The Russian army said it hit Ukraine’s “special operations ‘West’ command center” near the city of Khmelnytskyi.
“In the vicinity of the village of Brovary in the Kyiv region, the center of electronic intelligence of the Ukrainian armed forces was hit,” it added.
There were no damage or casualties in Kyiv, the head of the city’s military administration said, after nine drones were downed over the capital.
The official, Sergiy Popko, said Russian forces were trying “to exhaust our air defenses,” and said the attack had come in two separate waves.
The Ukrainian armed forces said it had shot down 11 out of 14 “Shaded” drones deployed by Moscow’s forces overnight.
Russia has been launching missile and drone attacks on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure since October, spurring Kyiv to bolster its air defense systems with Western help.
The attacks have plunged millions in the cold and dark in the middle of winter.