Russian Air Defenses Destroy 50 Ukrainian Drones in Overnight Attacks

Russia claims Ukraine launched drone attacks on its energy infrastructure, causing fires and disruptions. Ukraine confirms the strikes, which mark an escalation in the conflict as it awaits more military aid.

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Mahnoor Jehangir
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Russian Air Defenses Destroy 50 Ukrainian Drones in Overnight Attacks

Russian Air Defenses Destroy 50 Ukrainian Drones in Overnight Attacks

The Russian Ministry of Defense claims that its air defenses intercepted and destroyed 50 Ukrainian drones in a series of overnight attacks across several regions in western Russia. The drones targeted energy infrastructure, causing fires and disruptions to power and water supply in some areas.

According to the ministry, the largest number of drones, 26, were shot down over the Belgorod region near the Ukrainian border. Ten drones were downed over the Bryansk region, eight over Kursk, two over Tula, and one each over the regions of Smolensk, Ryazan, Kaluga, and Moscow.

The attacks hit at least three electrical substations and a fuel storage base, setting them ablaze. In the Belgorod region, two civilians were killed as a result of the drone strikes, including a pregnant woman and her unborn child. The governor of the Smolensk region reported that a Ukrainian drone struck a fuel-energy facility, igniting a reservoir containing fuel and oil lubricants.

An unnamed Ukrainian special services source confirmed that the overnight drone attack was a joint operation conducted by the Security Service of Ukraine, the Defence Intelligence agency, and the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Why this matters: The intensifying drone attacks by Ukraine on Russian energy infrastructure mark an escalation in the ongoing conflict between the two nations. As Ukraine awaits further military aid from the US and its allies, it is increasingly relying on long-range strike drones to target Russian territory and compensate for its military gaps.

Russia has accused Ukraine of deadly strikes on civilians, with the Russian military also claiming to have shot down a Ukrainian Sukhoi Su-25 fighter jet, although this could not be independently verified. Ukraine does not officially confirm or deny attacks on refineries inside Russia but maintains that the facilities are legitimate targets aiding the Russian military effort.

Key Takeaways

  • Russia claims it intercepted 50 Ukrainian drones targeting energy infrastructure.
  • Drone strikes hit 3 substations, a fuel depot, killing 2 civilians in Belgorod.
  • Ukraine confirms joint drone operation by security, intel, and special forces.
  • Drone attacks mark escalation as Ukraine seeks to target Russian energy.
  • Russia accuses Ukraine of civilian deaths, claims to have shot down a jet.