One of the buildings damaged by the Russian bombing of the capital Kiev (French)

Russian drones launched massive attacks on Kiev overnight, and while Switzerland vowed to step up its support for Ukraine, a demonstration in Berlin calling for containing the war through negotiations rather than shipping weapons to the frontlines.

Kiev authorities said that the city was subjected to the largest night attack by Russian drones last night, "since the invasion of the country began in February 2022, depriving dozens of residential buildings and facilities of electricity."

The attack comes on a day when Ukraine commemorates what it calls "crimes" committed by the Soviets under Joseph Stalin against Ukrainians in the thirties of the last century during the Great Famine that caused the deaths of millions.

Ukraine's air force said on Saturday it had shot down 71 Iranian-made Shahid attack drones launched by Russia at night. "Most of them were destroyed in the Kiev region," he said.

Ukraine's energy ministry said the attack knocked out power to 77 residential buildings and 120 facilities in the centre of the capital.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on social media that "more than 70 marches on the night of the anniversary of the Great Famine. The Russian leadership is proud of the fact that it is capable of killing."

On the front, after 21 months of war, fighting is concentrated in eastern and southern Ukraine, and in the city of Avdiyevka, which the Russian army is trying to encircle.

Swiss President Alain Berset (Anadolu Agency)

Long-term support

Swiss President Alain Bersay on Saturday pledged long-term support to Ukraine during a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart in Kiev, where he also attended an international summit on food security.

President Bercy stressed that Switzerland stands in solidarity with Ukraine in the long term, "even in times of multiple simultaneous crises."

Zelenskiy said on the X platform that during the meeting the issue of demining, peace proposals and the use of proceeds from Russian assets frozen in Switzerland were also discussed.

Switzerland said earlier it had frozen about 7.5 billion Swiss francs ($8.5 billion) of Russian assets.

The Swiss president said his country would provide additional aid to Ukraine, including 10 more ambulances and six fire trucks, to replace damaged vehicles.

Although Switzerland adheres to the principle of neutrality in its constitution, it has imposed sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and joined an international call for the creation of a special court to look into Russia's "aggression" against Ukraine.

Protesters demand peaceful resolution of Russia-Ukraine conflict (Getty Images)

No to the supply of weapons

In Germany, hundreds of people gathered outside the Brandenburg Gate in the capital Berlin on Saturday afternoon, at the start of a demonstration for peace and protest against the war in Ukraine and the supply of weapons to Kiev.

In freezing temperatures, demonstrators held up banners with slogans such as "Never return to war" and another with the image of the dove of peace.

The demonstration carried the slogan "No to wars - stop tampering with armaments - shaping the future peacefully and fairly."

It should be noted that the organizers of the demonstration condemn the Russian war on Ukraine and at the same time condemn NATO and demand a ceasefire and negotiation with Russia.

In part of the demonstration, banners related to the Israeli war on Gaza appeared.

Source: Agencies