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Drone attacks launched ‘from inside Russia’ as Moscow hit with another strike

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Ukraine war: Footage appears to show moment drone attack hits building in central Moscow

The latest drone attack on Russia’s bomber jet likely came from inside Russian territory, the British Ministry of Defence said today.

The ministry said a Tu-22M3 BACKFIRE medium bomber of Russia’s Long Range Aviation (LRA) was “highly likely destroyed” at Soltsky-2 Airbase in Novgorod Oblast which is 650 km away from Ukraine’s border. It noted Russian Defence Ministry’s response that a copter-style uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) was responsible for the attack.

“If true, this adds weight to the assessment that some UAV attacks against Russian military targets are being launched from inside Russian territory. Copter UAVs are unlikely to have the range to reach Soltsky-2 from outside Russia,” the British MoD said.

It comes as Russia was again forced to shut down its air space over the three biggest airports in Moscow in the early hours of this morning after a swarm of Ukrainian drones reportedly hit buildings in the capital region, officials said.

The Russian military also claimed to have brought down four Ukrainian drones near Moscow and over the Bryansk region that borders Ukraine.

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Attack on Russian strategic bomber Tu-22M3 came from own territory, says UK MoD

The latest attack on Russia’s bomber jet by uncrewed aerial vehicle or drones likely came from inside the Russian territory, the British Ministry of Defence said today.

The ministry said a Tu-22M3 BACKFIRE medium bomber of Russia’s Long Range Aviation (LRA) was “highly likely destroyed” at Soltsky-2 Airbase in Novgorod Oblast which is 650 km away from Ukraine’s border. It noted Russian Defence Ministry’s response that a copter-style uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) was responsible for the attack.

“If true, this adds weight to the assessment that some UAV attacks against Russian military targets are being launched from inside Russian territory. Copter UAVs are unlikely to have the range to reach Soltsky-2 from outside Russia,” the British MoD said.

“Russia has frequently used BACKFIRE bombers to launch the notoriously inaccurate AS-4 KITCHEN heavy anti-ship missiles against Ukraine. Early in the war, they also carried out the intense bombardment of Mariupol using unguided bombs,” it added in its latest intelligence update.

The attack is at least the third successful attack on LRA airfields, “again raising questions about Russia’s ability to protect strategic locations deep inside the country”.

Martha Mchardy22 August 2023 07:16

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Ukraine says it gains foothold in strategic southeastern village

Ukraine said on Tuesday its troops had entered the strategic southeastern village of Robotyne, a potentially significant advance in its counteroffensive against Russian forces.

Deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar said on the Telegram messaging app that Ukrainian soldiers were organising the evacuation of civilians after entering Robotyne but were still coming under fire from Russian forces.

“Our soldiers in the village of Robotyne,” General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, commander of Ukrainian forces in the south, wrote on Telegram under a picture of a soldier in a tank.

Robotyne is 10 km (six miles) south of the frontline town of Orikhiv in the Zaporizhzhia region on an important road towards Tokmak, a Russian-occupied road and rail hub.

Tokmak’s capture would be a milestone as Ukrainian troops press southwards towards the Sea of Azov, a military push intended to split Russian occupying forces.

The Institute for the Study of War, an American research group and think tank, has described the Ukrainian attacks on Robotyne as “tactically significant”. Advancing in the area could enable Ukrainian forces to begin operating beyond the densest of the Russian minefields that have held up the counteroffensive launched in early June, it said.

In a video published by the Ukrainian military, a woman is seen kissing a Ukrainian soldier and several evacuated residents talking on the phone with loved ones.

“Psychologically it was very hard (…). We were waiting for so long that today they came unexpectedly. We could not even believe it was ours (..) We are very grateful to the boys (troops),” a 52-year-old woman was saying in the video.

Reuters was able to verify the location of the aerial footage from the road layout and positions of buildings seen in the video, which matched satellite imagery of the area. Reuters was not able to independently verify the date it was filmed.

Russia, which sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022, did not immediately comment on the reports from Robotyne.

Martha Mchardy22 August 2023 10:30

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Windows are shattered in a Moscow suburb as Russia says it thwarts latest Ukraine drone attack

Russian air defence systems thwarted four nighttime Ukrainian drone attacks, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said Tuesday, with the falling wreckage of one drone shattering an apartment building’s windows and damaging vehicles in Moscow’s western suburbs.

There were no reports of injuries in the latest drone attacks that Russia blamed on Kyiv, as the war approaches its 18-month milestone.

Though the drone attacks on Russian soil have occurred almost daily in recent weeks, they have caused little damage. Even so, they have unnerved some Russians and are in line with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky’s pledge to take the war into the heart of Russia.

Martha Mchardy22 August 2023 09:41

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Ukraine’s Zelensky has ‘fruitful’ talks with Serbian president

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday he had had “open, honest and fruitful” talks with Serbian [resident Aleksandar Vucic.

“An open, honest, and fruitful meeting with the president of Serbia,” Zelensky, who is visiting Athens, wrote on the Telegram messaging app under a photograph of the two leaders shaking hands.

“Good conversation on respect for the UN Charter and the inviolability of borders…On our nations’ shared future in the common European home. On developing our relations, that is in our mutual interest,” Zelensky wrote.

Martha Mchardy22 August 2023 09:04

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Watch: Ukrainian troops fight on the frontline in Kupiansk

Ukrainian troops fight on the frontline in Kupiansk

Martha Mchardy22 August 2023 08:50

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On the ground in Ukraine, the desperate fight to protect a key city from 100,000 of ‘Putin’s thugs’

“We were born here, lived here all our lives, and we’ll die here,” says Antonia Samuelska as she trudges along with the aid of a walking stick on a deserted street in Kupiansk. “We have no other home anywhere else, we’ll have to accept what comes.”

The stillness of a hot afternoon under a blazing sun is broken by the sudden roar of artillery fire, three rounds landing one after the other in quick succession, not far away, spraying dust and debris up into the air with plumes of flame and smoke.

The northeastern city of Kupiansk is a key target for Russia as it attempts to fight back against Ukraine’s summer offensive. As relentless shelling bombards the city, Kim Sengupta meets residents and soldiers facing daily assault:

Maryam Zakir-Hussain22 August 2023 08:15

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Russian space agency chief blames decades of inactivity for Luna-25 lander’s crash on the moon

The head of Russia’s space agency said Monday that the Luna-25 spacecraft crashed into the moon after its engines failed to shut down correctly, and he blamed the country’s decades-long pause in lunar exploration for the mishap.

The pilotless Luna-25 had been scheduled to land Monday while aiming to become the first spacecraft to touch down on the south pole of the moon, an area where scientists believe important reserves of frozen water and precious elements may exist.

Roscosmos Director General Yury Borisov said the spacecraft’s engines were turned on over the weekend to put Luna-25 into a “pre-landing orbit” but did not shut down properly, plunging the lander onto the moon.

“Instead of the planned 84 seconds, it worked for 127 seconds. This was the main reason for the emergency,” Borisov told Russian state news channel Russia 24.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain22 August 2023 08:02

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Two Ukrainian drones shot down over Moscow region

A Reuters reporter in the Odintsovo district near the settlement of Chastsy to the west of Moscow, where one of the two drones was shot down in the early hours of Tuesday morning, heard four blasts shortly after 0300 local time (0000 GMT).

“Windows were shaking,” she said.

The Russian defence ministry said that nobody had been hurt in the latest attack.

“An attempt by the Kyiv regime to carry out terrorist attacks using unmanned aerial vehicles was foiled tonight,” it said in a statement.

“Two drones were detected and destroyed by air defence systems over the territory of the Moscow region.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain22 August 2023 07:45

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Putin was meant to be at a summit in South Africa this week. Why was he asked to stay away?

While all the others are set to attend the meetings in person, Putin will dial in on a video call.

The reason? An International Criminal Court arrest warrant issued for the Russian president put summit host South Africa in a sticky situation and ultimately resulted in Putin staying at home.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain22 August 2023 07:29

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Russia military claims two Ukrainian drones downed near Crimea

The Russian Defence Ministry claimed its military jammed two Ukrainian drones over the Black Sea on Monday night.

The drones crashed into the water at around 11pm local time (20.00 GMT), 40 kilometres to the northwest from Crimea, the military said in a statement.

Ukraine has not taken responsibility for attacks inside Russia or Russia-held territories but has intensified its bid to recapture the illegally annexed peninsula.

Arpan Rai22 August 2023 07:02

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