Ukrainians, officials and even Nasa were left scratching their heads yesterday after a bright flash of light triggered an air raid alert.
For a brief moment, a blinding white light tore through the sky over war-time Kyiv, with everything from a crashing satellite and a meteor to aliens being blamed.
The unidentified flying object (UFO) at around 10pm was captured in four clips posted to Telegram by journalist and blogger Anatolii Sharii.
In the footage, a light suddenly blares above the skyline before a flaming object appeared to crash to the ground.
Sergiy Popko, the city’s military administration chief, said it was a ‘bright glow’ on the instant messaging app.
He said an air raid alert was activated but ‘air defence was not in operation’.
The Kyiv City Military Administration chalked the flash up to a ‘possible entry into the Earth’s atmosphere of a large space body from any world aerospace agency’.
‘Around 10:00pm on April 19, the fall of an unknown aerial object was recorded in the sky within Kyiv,’ Popko said in a statement shared on the administration’s Telegram.
‘After verification and clarification, the information regarding the probable use of enemy aircraft or an air strike with missile weapons was not confirmed.
‘But the very bright glow from the fall of an unknown object caused excitement and concern among the people of Kyiv.’
‘It was not a missile attack, our anti-aircraft defence did not use available weapons,’ he stressed.
While Ukrainian officials initially suggested it was a Nasa satellite based on preliminary evidence, the American space agency denied this.
Nasa announced earlier this week that it was retiring the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) spacecraft, a hefty satellite used to observe solar flares launched in 2002.
But Rob Margetta from Nasa’s Office of Communications clarified to news outlets that the satellite was still orbiting the planet at the time of the flash.
According to the US Defense Department, the re-entry was not expected until hours later.
This didn’t stop even top Ukrainian officials from thinking the same thing: aliens.
Presidential adviser Andriy Yermak posted an emoji of a satellite dish and a UFO on Twitter.
Any remains of what the flash was have not been found, Yurii Ihnat, spokesperson for Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said this morning.
The air force, tasked with shooting down Russian missiles and drones, ‘was not working on that front, that’s for sure,’ he said during a broadcast, per Ukrainska Pravda.
For a city already on edge amid Russia’s war against Ukraine, the bright light happened as a real Russian attack happened in other cities.
Average evening in Kyiv is when you got Shahed drones incoming and a NASA satellite falls somewhere near pic.twitter.com/YXO9M4Bw5Z
‘The Air Force was countering Shahed drones on the eastern front when this phenomenon was observed,’ Ihnat said.
He added: ‘This flash was seen even in Belarus, they already posted about it on their channels. So it was not that close to finding any debris.
‘I think the special services will deal with it, but maybe this body burned up in the atmosphere altogether.
‘But the Air Forces cannot comment on such things; specialists are needed here (to comment on this issue).’
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