Russia Accuses Ukraine of Massive Drone Strike

Moscow says 50 drones were shot down over 8 Russian regions, with 2 people reportedly killed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 20, 2024 7:31 AM CDT
Russia: Ukraine Slammed Our Energy Sites in Drone Attack
In this photo, a view is seen of the damage after Russia's attack on a residential building in Dnipro, Ukraine, on Friday.   (Dnipropetrovsk Regional Military Administration via AP Photo)

Ukraine launched a barrage of drones across Russia overnight, the Defense Ministry in Moscow said Saturday, in attacks that appeared to target the country's energy infrastructure. Fifty drones were shot down by air defenses over eight Russian regions, including 26 over the country's western Belgorod region close to the Ukrainian border, per the AP. Two people—a woman with a broken leg and the man caring for her—died during the barrage, after explosions sparked a blaze that set their home alight, Belgorod Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on social media. Drones were also reportedly destroyed over the Bryansk, Kursk, Tula, Smolensk, Ryazan, and Kaluga regions across Russia's west and south, as well as in the Moscow region.

Ukrainian officials normally decline to comment about attacks on Russian soil. However, many of the drone strikes appeared to be directed toward Russia's energy infrastructure. The head of the Kaluga region, Vladislav Shapsha, said Saturday that a drone strike had sparked a blaze at an electrical substation, while Bryansk Gov. Alexander Bogomaz and Smolensk Gov. Vasily Anokhin also reported fires at fuel and energy complexes. In recent months, Russian refineries and oil terminals have become priority targets of Ukrainian drone attacks, part of stepped-up assaults on Russian territory.

Ukrainian drone developers have been extending the weapons' range for months, as Kyiv attempts to compensate for its battlefield disadvantage in weapons and troops. The unmanned aerial vehicles are also an affordable option while Ukraine waits for more US military aid. Meanwhile, Russia attacked Ukraine overnight with seven missiles, and air defenses downed two missiles and three reconnaissance drones, the Ukrainian air force said Saturday. Russian shelling also killed a 50-year-old man in the city of Vovchansk, said Gov. Oleh Syniehubov, head of Ukraine's Kharkiv region. A 60-year-old woman was also injured after shelling struck a nine-story apartment block, he added.

(More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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