Russia unleashes mass drone attack on Kyiv
Ulf Mauder and Julia Kilian
KYIV, Ukraine — The Ukrainian air force repelled most Russian drone attacks throughout the country, it said on Sunday, after a renewed assault from Moscow.
Fifteen out of 20 Iranian Shahed-136/131 kamikaze drones were destroyed overnight, the air force said.
Russia again targeted Kyiv and surrounding areas in the night-time attacks. The authorities said an infrastructure site was damaged in the Kyiv region but there were no casualties or injuries.
“For the second night in a row, Russian terrorists have attacked our area with drones. The air raid lasted almost five hours,” said the head of the region’s military administration, Ruslan Kravchenko, on his Telegram news channel.
A fire had to be extinguished at the damaged site, he said, but did not provide further details.
He said Russia had already fired on the area and other parts of Ukraine with drones on Friday night. Twenty-nine of the 38 drones were destroyed that night, according to the air defense system.
Russia has bombarded Ukraine with waves of airstrikes since starting the war in February 2022.
The provision of Western air defense systems has enabled the Ukrainian air defense system to shoot down the majority of drones and missiles.
Kyiv is calling on the West to supply even more air defense systems so it can better protect its cities and regions.
As Russia doubles down on Ukraine ahead of the winter, the British Ministry of Defense said Moscow might bring back an old reconnaissance aircraft.
“Russia is likely considering bringing the Soviet-era M-55 MYSTIC B high altitude reconnaissance aircraft back into service,” the ministry said on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.
The aircraft was last used for geoscientific research. However, it had been observed carrying a military reconnaissance pod developed for use in Russian fighter aircraft, the ministry said.
A critical flaw in the Russian procurement strategy was not to have built up adequate capacities for target detection and reconnaissance, the ministry wrote.
Since the beginning of the Russian war in Ukraine, the British Ministry of Defense has published daily information on the course of the war. Moscow accuses London of disinformation.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military said it was holding its ground on the eastern, or left, bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region.
“The defense forces continue to hold positions on the left bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region,” the General Staff said on Facebook late on Sunday.
Natalia Humeniuk, the spokeswoman for the Southern Command, had earlier said the Ukrainian army pushed the Russians 3 to 8 kilometres away from the river on the left bank.
Kherson in southern Ukraine was largely occupied shortly after the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022. In November last year, the Ukrainians succeeded in liberating the parts of the region located on the right bank of the river – including the regional capital Kherson of the same name.
However, until just days ago the Russians had continued to fully occupy the left bank of the river.
The ability of the Ukrainian troops to establish a bridgehead on the other side of the river is seen as a small but significant win for Kyiv.
The war’s long frontline – which stretches from the Black Sea coast up to Ukraine’s north-eastern border with Russia – is otherwise seen as largely at a standstill.
©2023 dpa GmbH. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.