Ukraine destroys all Russia-launched drones and cruise missile in overnight attacks

Ukraine destroys all Russia-launched drones and cruise missile in overnight attacks

Ukrainian defence systems successfully destroyed all Russian air weapons fired in the east and south directions, including a cruise missile fired overnight, its air force said on Monday.

A total of 14 attack drones, including 13 Iran-made Shahed drones and one unspecified drone as well as one cruise missile, were destroyed, the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on its official Telegram channel, lauding Western-supplied air defence systems.

“Western weapons have proven and continue to prove their effectiveness on the battlefield,” Mykola Oleshchuk, commander of the air force, wrote in a statement on Telegram.

However, debris from a downed drone struck a warehouse and damaged it at the Black Sea port of Odesa, officials said.

No injuries have been reported so far, Odesa governor Oleh Kiper said. The attack in the short hours of Monday comes as a part of Russia’s campaign to target port and grain infrastructure since quitting a UN-brokered deal in July that had allowed Kyiv to ship its grain via the Black Sea.

Russian forces also targeted the regions of Kherson in the south, Donetsk in the east and Sumy in the northeast in its overnight attack, the interior ministry in Kyiv said.

For more than 600 days now, Russia has carried out frequent air strikes across Ukraine’s regions. Now soon to enter its second winter, the attacks have sparked fears that Russia is going to step up strikes on Ukraine’s power grid to cripple infrastructure as the winter begins to set in.

This comes as at least six people were killed in Ukraine’s Kharkiv after a Russian missile struck a mail depot, Ukrainian officials said on Sunday. Another 17 people were injured in the blast.

The explosion on the Ukrainian postal and courier service Nova Poshta is believed to have been caused by a widely used Russian S-300 rocket, said Kharkiv governor Oleh Syniehubov.

All victims killed in the attack were employees of the private postal service. Nova Poshta published the names of the six young employees between 21-31 years old who lost their lives “as a sign of commemoration and sorrow”.

In a statement published after the attack, Nova Poshta said the air raid siren had sounded just moments before the missile struck, leaving those inside the building with no time to rush to a basement shelter.

Russia scaled up attacks on Ukrainian cities and villages on Sunday as officials said two more people had been killed in a shelling attack in the Donetsk region.

The casualties include a 58-year-old man who died in his home in the village of Kalinovka and a 61-year-old man was killed in the town of Vasiukovka from a direct hit to his car, the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office said.

A 71-year-old man was killed in a separate incident while fishing at a local reservoir on Saturday, Nikopol military chief Yevhen Yevtushenko said.

He said the victim had been found with a fishing rod in his hand. The mayor said Russian forces deliberately targeted the man with artillery fire.

In southern Ukraine, the Russian military had used a record number of aerial bombs over the country’s Kherson region in the previous 24 hours, officials said on Sunday.

At least 36 missiles were recorded over the area with some villages being hit by several strikes, said Natalia Humeniuk, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian military’s Operational Command South.

The Institute for the Study of War said Russian forces could be diversifying the mix of missiles, guided bombs, and drones used in strikes on Ukraine.

The Washington-based think-tank speculated that the change could be part of an attempt to find gaps in Ukraine’s air defences ahead of further strikes over the winter.