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Russia's Defence Ministry claims to foil drone strikes by Ukraine targeting Moscow, Crimea

Ukraine's Air Force Command has claimed that Russia launched a missile strike towards a civilian agricultural facility in Odesa region.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee Moscow Published on: September 17, 2023 18:59 IST
Drone attacks from the Ukrainian side have dramatically
Image Source : AP Drone attacks from the Ukrainian side have dramatically increased in recent months.

Russia on Sunday claimed that its air defenses thwarted six Ukrainian drone strikes aimed at Moscow and the Crimean Peninsula, at a time when drone attacks inside Russia have dramatically increased over the past few months, reported Anadolu Agency.

"On September 17, at about 1.45 Moscow time (2245 GMT), an attempt by the Kyiv regime to carry out a terrorist UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) attack on objects on the territory of the Russian Federation was stopped," the Defense Ministry said in a statement today.

While one Ukrainian drone was shot down in Moscow's Istrinsky district, four others were downed in northwestern and eastern coasts of the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. The last drone was destroyed over Domodedovo district of Moscow, said the Ministry. Ukraine has not responded to the claims.

Russian attacks on Odesa

Meanwhile, Ukraine's Air Force Command has claimed that Russia launched a missile strike towards a civilian agricultural facility in Odesa region, using cruise missiles and UAVs in the process.

In a statement, the air force command claimed of identifying 16 aerial targets focused on Odesa and managed to intercept and destroy 12 of them. The missile attacks did not lead to any casualties in Odesa.

Earlier this week, Ukraine's Ministry of Defense on Monday said the military recaptured strategic gas and oil drilling platforms from Russia in the Black Sea. Kyiv claimed gains in occupied areas near Bakhmut, a city in eastern Ukraine left in ruins after the war's longest and deadliest fighting.

The recapture of the so-called Boyko Towers ('Boyko Towers' are named after former Ukrainian Minister Yuriy Boyko, who was a member of a now-outlawed pro-Russian party) platforms provides an energy source and takes back an asset that Russia seized in 2015 and used to launch helicopters.

The Ukrainian government under the leadership of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed to do all the country can to bring back Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Zelenskyy urged international allies to support the effort to bring back Crimea into Ukraine.

Russia held elections in occupied areas of Ukraine

Russia held local elections this weekend in the occupied parts of Ukraine which it annexed a year ago and still does not fully control, in an effort to tighten its grip on the territories.

The voting for the legislatures in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions concluded on Sunday (September 10). In a statement from the Ukrainian Parliament, Kyiv said that the voting in the areas where Russia “conducts active hostilities” poses a threat to Ukrainian lives. The Parliamentarians urged other countries not to recognise the results of the elections.

Russia’s Central Election Commission said Monday that the country’s ruling party won the most votes in elections held in the occupied regions. Lawmakers from the ruling party, United Russia, won in the four Ukrainian regions Moscow annexed in 2022 — Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia — and on the Crimean Peninsula. 

"We strongly reject this further futile attempt by Russia to legitimize or normalize its illegal military control and attempted annexation of parts of Ukrainian territories,” the European Commission said on Monday.

(with agency inputs)

ALSO READ | Biden to host Zelenskyy at White House next week, additional weapons to go to Ukraine: US NSA

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