The latest developments from the Ukraine war.
Ukraine has reported an increase in nighttime drone attacks launched by Russia, accusing it of firing 38 into its territory – the highest number in more than six weeks.
Ukraine’s air force said it shot down 29 of 38 Iranian-made Shahed drones – also called “kamikaze drones” because they are packed with explosives intended to explode when they hit their target – apparently fired by Russia.
According to Kyiv, this is the largest number of drones launched by Russia during a night attack on 30 September.
An energy facility was hit in the southern Odessa region and the resulting fire was quickly extinguished, Ukraine’s emergency services said.
The Ukrainian General Staff also confirmed that its forces “continue to hold positions on the left bank of the Dnieper River”.
For more than a year, Ukrainian and Russian forces have been entrenched on either side of the vast river in the southern region of Kherson, after Russia withdrew its troops from the western bank last November .
Ukrainian forces have repeatedly attempted to cross and hold their positions on the Russian-controlled side, with Kiev officials finally reporting a “successful” breakthrough last week.
“Our defenders are consolidating their positions and firing on the occupiers,” the General Staff said during a Saturday morning briefing.
The Russian Defence Ministry also said it had shot down a Ukrainian drone over the Bryansk border region.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Thursday he expects Russia to step up attacks on Ukraine’s energy system, aiming to cripple the country’s heat and electricity supplies during the cold months of Winter. Russia is stockpiling missiles for these attacks, he claimed.
Last winter, Russian strikes left millions of Ukrainians without power for hours in subzero temperatures.
Kyiv and Moscow have used attack and reconnaissance drones extensively throughout the 21-month war.