6 killed in Russian attacks on Ukraine as Kyiv continues drone counterstrikes

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian attacks on Ukraine over a 24-hour period killed six people, local officials reported Sunday.

Two people were killed and three more injured in the Kherson area after more than 100 shells bombarded the region over the weekend, local governor Oleksandr Prokudin wrote on social media.

Two guided bombs later hit key infrastructure in Kherson city, sparking a partial blackout and disruption to the area’s water supply, reported the head of the city’s military administration, Roman Mrochko.

Local officials said two more people died in the Donetsk area and that a 57-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman were killed by an airstrike that destroyed their home in the Kharkiv region.

In a separate incident, a 14-year-old boy was killed by a mine in a field in Ukraine’s Mykolaiv region, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said. The explosion also injured another 12-year-old boy.

Fighting remained fierce across eastern Ukraine over the weekend, with Russian forces repeatedly attempting to encircle the city of Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, military officials said.

Illia Yevlash, spokesperson for the Ukrainian military’s eastern forces, told journalists that forces defending the area had faced 10 separate attacks in the space of 24 hours.

“The enemy is trying to attack us in the direction of Kupiansk to encircle it and reach the banks of the Oskol River,” Yevlash told Ukrainian television. He said that Ukrainian forces in the town of Lyman in the Donetsk region had also faced heavy attack.

Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, told a U.N. Security Council meeting on Friday that the intensified attacks in the east amounted to a new stage in Moscow’s campaign in Ukraine.

“Russian troops have, for several days now, switched over to active combat action practically throughout the entire front line. … The so-called Ukrainian counteroffensive can therefore be considered finished,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Russian defense ministry announced Sunday that Ukraine had launched 27 drones in an overnight attack on western Russia.

Officials said that 18 drones were shot down over the Kursk region, leading to speculation in the Russian press that the attack could have been targeting the nearby Khalino military airfield.

Images on social media showed burning debris just 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from the air base, which was previously attacked by Ukrainian forces at the end of September.

Writing on social media, Kursk Gov. Roman Starovoit said that debris had fallen in the region’s namesake capital and the nearby village of Zorino. No casualties were reported.

Officials also said that two more drones had been shot down over Russia’s Belgorod region, but did not confirm the fate of the remaining seven drones. Ukrainian media outlets later said that Kyiv’s forces had carried out a successful strike on Russia’s Krasnaya Yaruga electrical substation, close to the Ukrainian border.

The reports cited an unnamed source from within Ukraine’s security services and included a video that appeared to show an aerial strike against an unidentified target.

The Associated Press could not independently verify the reports.

Moscow also said Sunday that it had intercepted a Global Hawk drone close to Russia’s Black Sea border.

A Su-27 fighter was scrambled to intercept the drone, which turned away and ultimately did not cross into Russian airspace, the Russian defense ministry said in a statement on social media.


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