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News from Ukraine: Russia says it shot down drones in border region

Kyiv, Ukraine –

Russian forces shot down “large numbers” of drones in Russia’s southern Belgorod region, a local official said on Wednesday, a day after Moscow announced its forces had crushed a cross-border raid in the area. from Ukraine.

The drones were intercepted overnight over the province, Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said in a Telegram article. He said no one was injured, but unspecified administrative buildings, residential buildings and cars were damaged.

Ukrainian officials had no immediate comment.

Russia said the day before it had repelled one of the worst cross-border attacks of the war, with the Defense Ministry saying more than 70 assailants were killed in a battle in Belgorod that lasted around 24 hours . He made no mention of Russian casualties.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said local troops, airstrikes and artillery routed the attackers.

Twelve local civilians were injured in the attack, officials said, and an older woman died during an evacuation.

Details of the incident in the rural region, located about 80 kilometers (45 miles) north of the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine and far from the front lines of the nearly 15-month-old war, are not clear.

Moscow blamed the incursion that began on Monday on Ukrainian military saboteurs. kyiv described it as an uprising against the Kremlin by Russian supporters. It was impossible to reconcile the two versions, to say with certainty who was behind the attack or to know its objectives.

The area is a Russian military hub housing fuel and ammunition depots. Moscow officials declined to say how many attackers were involved in the assault or comment on why efforts to quell the attackers took so long.

The Belgorod region, like the neighboring Bryansk region and other border areas, has seen sporadic fallout from the war, which Russia sparked by invading Ukraine in February 2022.

Elsewhere, Ukraine’s general staff said on Wednesday that “heavy fighting” continued inside Bakhmut, days after Russia said it had completely captured the devastated town.

Bakhmut is in Donetsk province, one of four provinces illegally annexed by Russia last fall. The nine-month battle for Bakhmut has killed tens of thousands as Ukraine continues its strategy of crushing invading Kremlin forces.

Ukrainian ground forces chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said Kyiv forces were “continuing their defensive operation” in Bakhmut and had achieved unspecified “successes” on the outskirts of the city. He gave no further details.

Ukrainian officials have insisted the battle for Bakhmut is not over.

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