Kyiv and Moscow traded more kamikaze drones overnight, with Russia claiming it had downed 13 overnight as its own UAVs destroyed an oil depot in the Rivne region of Ukraine.
The Kremlin said early on Thursday morning it had intercepted 11 Ukrainian drones near Crimea overnight, as well as two drones flying toward the Russian capital.
“Two UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) flying in the direction of the city of Moscow were destroyed,” the Russian defense ministry said in a statement on Telegram.
It claimed two Ukrainian drones were shot down near the city of Sevastopol on the Crimean coast, and “another nine were suppressed by means of electronic warfare and crashed in the Black Sea.”
The ministry said there were no reports of damage or casualties in any of the affected areas.
Meanwhile, multiple air-raid alerts were issued across much of Ukraine overnight including the capital Kyiv, as air defenses tracked Russian kamikaze drones in the skies above the country.
The western Ukrainian region of Rivne was subject to a “massive” attack, the head of the local administration, Vitaliy Koval, said in a post on Telegram, adding: “Unfortunately, an oil depot in Duben was destroyed.”
While Russia has been targeting Ukraine with massive numbers of kamikaze drones since October of last year, Kyiv is now hitting back with ever increasing numbers. Many of its drones are now aimed at Moscow which, until a series of attacks in recent months, had not been a target.
The Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula, however, has been disrupted by several strikes throughout the hostilities, and has seen more frequent attacks in recent weeks.
In July, Ukrainian drone strikes on Crimea blew up an ammunition depot and damaged the bridge across the Kerch Strait linking the peninsula to Russia’s mainland.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned last month that “war” was coming to Russia, with the country’s “symbolic centers and military bases” becoming targets.
The latest strikes come a day after Russia said two Ukrainian combat drones headed for Moscow were shot down, and constitute at least the fourth attack near the capital within a week.
Russia previously said it downed a drone over Kaluga on Monday, as well as seven drones in the region last Thursday.
Elsewhere, on Wednesday a Russian attack on Ukraine's southern city of Zaporizhzhia killed two people, Ukrainian officials said.
Zaporizhzhia, an important city on the Dnipro River, lies some 44 kilometres (27 miles) from the frontline.
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