Russia says it shot down 60 Ukrainian drones

MOSCOW — Russian officials said on Sunday that Ukraine fired nine U.S. ATACMS at Crimea and attacked Russian regions with at least 60 drones in a major attack which forced one oil refinery in southern Russia to halt operations.

Russian air defenses shot down nine U.S. ATACMS missiles over Crimea along with 57 drones over Russia’s Krasnodar region and three drones over Belgorod region, the Russian defense ministry said.

Local officials said six drones crashed onto the territory of an oil refinery in Slavyansk in Russia’s southern Krasnodar region. Interfax news agency said the refinery halted work after the attack.

Slavyansk refinery is a private plant with a capacity of 4 million metric tons of oil per year, about 1 million bpd.

There was no immediate comment from Kyiv.

Russia has reported an uptick in Ukrainian attacks on its territory since opening a new front in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine earlier this month.

President Vladimir Putin says Russia is carving out a buffer zone there to protect Russia from such attacks, which Russia says risk triggering a broader war between Russia and the West if Ukraine uses Western weapons.

Russia said on Saturday Russian forces captured the village of Starytsia in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region and that Russian forces had defeated Ukrainian units along the front, including in the Sumy region.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s forces have destroyed all of 37 attack drones launched by Russia overnight, Ukraine’s air force chief said Sunday.

“As a result of the anti-aircraft battle, all 37 ‘Shaheds’ were shot down in Kyiv, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Sumy, Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Cherkasy and Kherson regions,” the commander said.

Odesa governor Oleh Kiper said on the telegram messaging app that 20 drones were destroyed in the Odesa region.

“An administrative building in Odesa district was damaged by falling debris. In Odesa, the debris fell into the yard of a residential area. Fortunately, there were no injuries,” Kiper said.

No destruction or casualties were reported by military and civilian authorities in other regions.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports. 

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