Monday, December 4, 2023

Kyiv reports increase in Russian overnight drone attacks

Kyiv reports increase in Russian overnight drone attacks
November 18, 2023 Web Desk

KYIV, Ukraine (AFP) - Ukraine's air force said Saturday Russia fired 38 drones at its territory overnight -- the highest reported number in more than six weeks.

Both Kyiv and Moscow have used attack and reconnaissance drones extensively throughout the 21-month war.

Ukraine's air force said it shot down 29 of the 38 Iranian-made Shahed drones -- also known as "kamikaze drones" because they are packed with explosives to detonate upon reaching their targets -- fired by Russia.

According to figures released by the Ukrainian air force, that is the most drones launched by Russia in an overnight attack since September 30.

An energy facility was hit in the southern Odesa region, with the resulting fire quickly extinguished, Ukraine's emergency services said.

Separately, Ukraine's general staff said Saturday that its forces "continue to hold positions on the left (eastern) bank of the Dnipro river."

Ukrainian and Russian forces have been entrenched on opposite sides of the vast waterway in the southern Kherson region for more than a year, after Russia withdrew its troops from the western bank last November.

Ukrainian forces have staged multiple attempts to cross and hold positions on the Russian-controlled side -- with officials in Kyiv finally reporting a "successful" breakthrough last week.

"Our defenders are consolidating their positions and firing on the occupiers," the general staff said in a Saturday morning briefing on its operations on the eastern side of the river.

Russia's defence ministry also said it shot down a Ukrainian drone over the Bryansk border region.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he expects Russia to step up its attacks on Ukraine's energy system, in a bid to cripple the country's heating and electricity supplies through the cold winter months.

Last winter, Russian strikes left millions of Ukrainians without power for hours in sub-zero temperatures.

Zelensky told reporters on Thursday Russia was "accumulating" missiles, and while Ukraine did not have "100 percent protection" from Russian strikes, he said the country's air defences were better than last year.