Friday, February 23, 2024

“Destroyed” 40 Out Of 45 Drones Launched By Russia Overnight, Says Ukraine

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Falling debris lightly wounded a 39-year-old man in Dnipro, said Sergiy Lysak. (Representational)

Kyiv:

Ukraine said it destroyed most of the 45 attack drones launched by Russia overnight, with little damage reported on Sunday morning.

The announcement comes a day after authorities said seven were killed in a Russian attack that set a petrol station ablaze in Ukraine’s second biggest city, Kharkiv.

“Overnight, the occupiers launched 45 attack drones… As a result of combat work, 40 enemy Shahed (UAV) were destroyed,” the Ukrainian air force said on Telegram.

Falling debris lightly wounded a 39-year-old man in the southern region of Dnipro, governor Sergiy Lysak said.

Authorities from the capital Kyiv and the central Cherkasy region said so far there were no signs of damage.

But aerial guided bombs targeted the village of Vodyane, in the Kharkiv region, killing a 56-year-old woman, governor Oleg Synegubov said.

The day before, his region had seen seven killed after a Russian drone attack hit a petrol station, spilling burning fuel down the neighbouring street. The Black Sea port of Odesa was also hit, as were industrial installations at Izmail near the border with Moldova.

Police on the Moldovan side of the border said they had found fragments of what they believed to be an Iranian-made Shahed drone outside the town of Etulia.

“Russia’s war on Ukraine hits close to home in Moldova — again. The discovery of Shahed drone debris in southern Moldova today serves as another stark reminder of the grim reality we face,” said pro-European Moldovan President Maia Sandu on X, formerly Twitter.

“Russia’s aggression endangers the entire continent. Support for Ukraine must continue.”

Ukrainian intelligence said Saturday that Russian forces have begun using billionaire Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet service on the frontline, the network previously having been used by Kyiv’s troops but not Moscow’s.

“Yes, there have been recorded cases of the use of these devices by Russian occupiers. It’s starting to take on a systemic character,” Andriy Yusov, spokesman for Kyiv’s Main Directorate of Military Intelligence told the RBC-Ukraine journal.

According to Ukraine’s UNIAN news agency, battlefield radio communications interceptions had indicated that Russian forces stationed near Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine had “started massively using Starlink at the front.”

The network has thus far played a crucial role in maintaining Ukrainian military communications.

Now Ukrainian military bloggers say Russia has procured Starlink terminals through third countries.

Kyiv has thanked Musk’s SpaceX firm, owner of Starlink, for access to the technology, which does not work in Russia — but was aggrieved when Musk recently suggested ceding some land for a peace settlement.

The billionaire tech mogul claimed to have prevented a Ukrainian attack on a Russian navy base in 2022 by refusing a request by Kyiv to activate internet access via Starlink in the Black Sea, near the Moscow-annexed Crimean peninsula.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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