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A destroyed building is seen in Kupyansk on 10 November. Alamy Stock Photo

Ukraine reports increase in the number of Russian drone attacks overnight

Ukraine’s air force said it shot down 29 of the 38 Iranian-made Shahed drones, the most drones launched by Russia overnight since 30 September.

UKRAINE’S AIR FORCE has said 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 30 September.

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

Separately, Ukraine’s general staff said today 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 this morning in a 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 Zelenskyy 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.

Zelenskyy told reporters on Thursday Russia was “accumulating” missiles, and while Ukraine did not have “100% protection” from Russian strikes, he said the country’s air defences were better than last year.

© AFP 2023