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Ukraine and Russia exchange drone attacks as Russia continues eastward advance

Kyiv, Ukraine — Russia reported that around 60 drones and several missiles were shot down over its territory on Sunday night, with Ukraine in turn claiming to have destroyed more than 30 Russian drones. The new Russian offensive continues to unfold in war-ravaged northeastern Ukraine.

Russian air defenses shot down 57 Ukrainian drones over the southern Krasnodar region overnight Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced Sunday morning.

Local military officials said drone debris hit an oil refinery in the city of Slavyansk-on-Kuban, but there was no fire or damage. Local media outlet Astra published videos showing 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 Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula, following a massive Ukrainian drone attack on Friday morning that knocked out power in the city of Sevastopol.

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

The Russian governor of Ukraine’s partially occupied Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, said one person died and 16 others were injured when a Ukrainian drone struck a minibus on Sunday morning.

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

In the northeastern Kharkiv region, where Moscow recently launched a new offensive, regional governor Oleh Syniehubov said Sunday morning that one person had died and 11 others were injured following the previous day’s shelling.

Ukrainian troops are fighting to stop the Russian advance in the Kharkiv region, which began late last week.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday during a visit to China that Moscow’s offensive in the Kharkiv region was aimed at creating a buffer zone but there were no plans to capture the city.

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Morton reported from London.

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Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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