Russia launches 3-hour drone attack on Odesa as Ukrainian drones target Moscow again

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Investigators work at the site of the place where the downed Ukrainian drone fell in Krasnogorsk, just outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023. Andrei Vorobyov, the governor of the Moscow region, said that two Ukrainian drones were shot down by air defenses on western outskirts of the Russian capital early Tuesday. (Moscow News Agency via AP)ASSOCIATED PRESS

Russia and Ukraine traded drone attacks early Wednesday, officials said, with Kyiv apparently targeting Moscow again and the Kremlin’s forces launching another bombardment of Ukrainian grain storage depots in what have recently become signature tactics in the almost 18-month war.

A three-hour nighttime Russian drone attack in Ukraine’s southern Odesa region overnight Tuesday caused a blaze at grain facilities, Odesa Regional Military Administration Head Oleh Kiper wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Ukrainian air defense systems downed nine Shahed drones, Kiper said.

“Unfortunately, there are hits on production and transshipment complexes,” he said, adding that no casualties had been reported.

Russia zeroed in on Odesa last month, crippling significant parts of the port city’s grain facilities, days after President Vladimir Putin broke off Russia’s participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative. That wartime deal enabled Ukraine’s exports to reach many countries facing the threat of hunger.

Russian officials, meanwhile, claimed to have downed Ukrainian drones in Moscow and the surrounding region early Wednesday, the defense ministry and the mayor said. No casualties were reported in the drone attack, which has become almost a daily occurrence in the Russian capital.

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said one drone smashed into a building under construction in Moscow City, a prestigious business complex hit by drones twice before. Several windows were broken in two buildings nearby and emergency services responded to the scene.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense said the drone had been electronically jammed.

It blamed the attack on Ukraine and said two other drones were shot down by air defense systems in the Mozhaisk and Khimki areas of the Moscow region. Kyiv officials, as usual, neither confirmed nor denied Ukraine was behind the drone attacks.

Moscow airports briefly closed but have now reopened, according to Russian state media.

Ukraine has since early this year sought to take the war into the heart of Russia. It has increasingly targeted Moscow’s military assets behind the front lines in eastern and southern Ukraine and at the same time has launched drones against Moscow.

Though drone attacks on Russian soil have occurred almost daily in recent weeks, they have caused little damage and no victims. Ukraine hasn’t acknowledged responsibility for the attempted drone strikes.

Kyiv is also trying to keep up the pressure on the Kremlin along multiple fronts, pursuing a counteroffensive at various points along the 1,500-kilometer (900-mile) front line, as well as diplomatically by obtaining pledges of more weaponry from its Western allies, including F-16 warplanes.

SOURCE: AP, TOE

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