Russia says downed 31 Ukrainian drones overnight

AFP , Wednesday 4 Oct 2023

Russia said Wednesday it had destroyed more than 30 Ukrainian drones in the west overnight, and said its planes had also averted a Ukrainian attempt to penetrate Crimea by sea.

FILE - Ukrainian servicemen prepare to fire at Russian positions from a U.S.-supplied M777 howitzer in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, on July 14, 2022. AP


"Air defence systems on duty over the territory of the Belgorod, Bryansk and Kursk regions intercepted and destroyed 31 Ukrainian aircraft-type unmanned aerial vehicles," Russia's defence ministry said on the messaging platform Telegram.

It did not mention any casualties in the overnight attempted attack in the west of the country, near the frontlines where battles are raging in Russia's offensive in Ukraine.

Since Ukraine launched its counter-offensive in early June, Russia has weathered waves of drone attacks that have sporadically damaged buildings, including in Moscow.

Russian officials have downplayed their significance.

The governor of Bryansk, Aleksandr Bogomaz, also described on Telegram Wednesday how drones launched against his city overnight had been destroyed by Russia's air defence, adding that "there were no casualties or damage".

He also said cluster munitions had been dropped over four districts.

"According to preliminary information, there were no casualties. There is partial destruction of residential households and outbuildings," he wrote.

Also overnight, the defence ministry said the Russian airforce "stopped an attempt to penetrate the territory of Crimea by a landing group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine".

The Ukrainians had been heading "in the direction of Cape Tarkhankut on a high-speed military boat and three jet skis," it said.

Ukraine has targeted Crimea throughout Russia's offensive but attacks on military installations there have recently intensified as Kyiv vows to recapture the peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014.

Moscow has repeatedly claimed to have halted attempts by Ukrainian vessels to reach Crimea.

On September 10, it said it had destroyed three military speedboats carrying Ukrainian soldiers towards the peninsula.

On August 24, Ukraine meanwhile boasted that its special forces had managed to land on the western part of Crimea, where they had planted Ukraine's national flag, before leaving "without casualties".

Late last month, Ukraine also launched an unprecedented missile strike on the naval headquarters on the peninsula.

Moscow said that the attack left one Russian serviceman missing, while Kyiv claimed that the strike killed thirty-four officers including the fleet commander, Viktor Sokolov.

Moscow has denied the claim.

Short link: