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Ukraine and Russia exchange drone attacks while Russia continues its push in the east

Kyiv, Ukraine –

Russia said it shot down some 60 drones and several missiles over its territory while Ukraine in turn said it destroyed over 30 Russian drones. At least four people were reported killed in an attack on the outskirts of Kharkiv on Sunday as Russia pushed ahead with its renewed offensive in Ukraine’s war-ravaged northeast.

Russian air defenses shot down 57 Ukrainian drones over the southern Krasnodar region overnight, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Local military officials said drone debris hit an oil refinery in the town of Slavyansk-on-Kuban, but there was no fire or damage. News outlet Astra published videos appearing to show an explosion at the refinery as it was hit by a drone. The videos could not be independently verified.

Nine long-range ballistic missiles and a drone were destroyed over the Russia-occupied Crimean Peninsula, following Friday morning’s massive Ukrainian drone attack that cut off power in the city of Sevastopol.

A further three drones were shot down over the Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine. According to regional Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov, a church roof was set on fire by falling drone debris, but there were no casualties.

The Russian-installed governor of Ukraine’s partially occupied Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, said that one person died and 16 were wounded when a Ukrainian drone hit a minibus on Sunday morning.

Ukrainian air force officials said air defenses shot down all 37 Russian drones launched against the country overnight.

In the Kharkiv region, where Moscow recently launched a new offensive, regional Gov. Oleh Syniehubov said Sunday morning that one person died and 11 were wounded as a result of shelling over the previous day.

Later on Sunday, Syniehubov said four people were killed and 15 wounded in a Russian strike on the outskirts of the regional capital, also called Kharkiv.

Russia launched an offensive in the Kharkiv region late last week, significantly adding to the pressure on Ukraine’s outnumbered and outgunned forces which are waiting for delayed deliveries of crucial weapons and ammunition from Western partners. Ukraine’s overstretched forces are trying to slow Russia on the new front by using bomb-laden drones to destroy military vehicles.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday during a visit to China that Moscow’s offensive in the Kharkiv region aims to create a buffer zone but that there are no plans to capture the city.

Morton reported from London.

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