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Ukraine: Capital Saw "Massive" Attack Overnight; Zelenskyy Adviser: War Moving to Russia's Territory; Military Officers Say they Seized Power. Aired 11:50a-12p ET

Aired August 30, 2023 - 11:50   ET





BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. We'll return to CNN's special coverage of Hurricane Idalia in just a

moment. First, I want to get you some of the other international stories that we are following here and in Ukraine fire and sirens consumed the

capital's sky overnight.

Debris rained down during a massive attack on Kyiv of a magnitude not seen in months. That's from a city military official. He says two people were

killed after several groups of drones approached from multiple directions.

Meantime, Russia was also hit. It saw the biggest drone attack on its territory since its full scale invasion of Ukraine began last year. Drones

dropped various areas around the country and four military planes were damaged at an airport in Western Russia. Well, we are of course following

all of this on the ground for you as CNN's Melissa Bell is live in Zaporizhzhia. From your perspective what are the key takeaways, as we

report this news, Melissa?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, clearly there was this huge night of missile strikes and drone strikes. As you said, Becky, the biggest here in

Ukraine since the spring is significant, of course, because of the deaths themselves the damage in Kyiv.

And you showed those images, really impressive images of Kyiv's night sky, something we hadn't seen in a while. Still, I think the important thing to

take away from it is how effective Ukraine's air defenses were. There were 28 missiles launched and 16 Shahed drones, all but one of the drones were


And I think that's significant and showing how well they're functioning. And perhaps the most interesting thing of what happened overnight was the

drone attacks on Russian soil, as you said, the biggest ones since the start of the war, and extremely far from Ukraine's borders, including that

successful attack on the airfield up in the very west northwest of the country much closer to the Latvian to the Estonian border and Latvian


And it is, of course Ukrainian significant because of the target as far as the way it is -- as far away from Ukraine as it is but also because of the

damage done. Russia's air defenses did manage to stop some of those drone attacks; six regions in all were targeted.

But the ones that did get through managed to damage transporter planes that were parked at that airport in Skovan (ph). The point is that these are the

kinds of planes that are used Becky to transport troops equipment to try and bring reinforcements to Russian troops here in Ukraine.

So a very specific target in terms of its distance and in terms of the nature of what was struck. And this goes to the heart of Ukraine's

strategy. Kyiv doesn't comment on these individual drone attacks on Russian soil. But it has in the past alluded to its strategy, and did so again

today through the voice of a Presidential Adviser who spoke of the fact that the war was moving to Russian soil.

It's about bringing it to the Russian people as it's been brought to the Ukrainian, but also of course about trying to target key infrastructure in

Russia that might be held as part of Russia's attempts to push back Ukraine's counter offensive.

And I think it's significant that these drone attacks, some of them managed to get through successfully and a blow to Moscow. Let's be clear. In fact,

what we've heard from Russia's Foreign Ministry is that these attacks will not go unpunished.

This will have rattled Moscow some of the drones that were intercepted were heading to Moscow. Again Becky, this is an important part of Kyiv's

strategy and it's interesting that it is doing it as successfully as it seems to be doing it for now, Becky.

ANDERSON: As we report the incremental so the context is so important. Melissa, thank you. Well, military officers in Gabon say they have seized

power of central -- their Central African Nation from President Ali Bongo. On state television the office has announced that the President is under

house arrest and they are avoiding the results of the election amid he was declared the winner of a third term. They are also dissolving the

government and closing the country's borders until further notice here is more.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is brought to the attention of the nation and international community that Ali Bongo Ondimba is being kept under house

arrest. He is surrounded by family and his doctors.


ANDERSON: Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And police in Nigeria say they have arrested more

than 200 people at a suspected same sex wedding. It is one of the country's biggest mass arrests in recent years. Same sex relationships are

criminalized in Nigeria and civil unions are punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

Australia is now set for and forgive me those are the international headlines that we're following much more special coverage of the hurricane

hitting Florida is right ahead after this short break, stay with us.