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Russia says downs 11 Ukrainian drones near Crimea, 2 others bound for Moscow

A drone is seen in the sky over the city during a Russian drone strike in Kiev, Ukraine, May 4, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

Russia says it has managed to down 11 Ukrainian military drones near Crimea and two others bound for Moscow.

In a statement on Thursday, Russia's defense ministry said the country's air defense systems downed 11 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in the vicinity of Crimea overnight, as well as two other such aircraft flying toward the capital Moscow.

It said two Ukrainian drones were shot down near the city of Sevastopol on the Crimean coast, and "another nine were suppressed by means of electronic warfare and crashed in the Black Sea."

"Two UAVs flying in the direction of the city of Moscow were destroyed," it added.

The ministry also said that no damage or casualties were reported in any of the affected areas.

Separately, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin reported the foiled drone attack against the capital.

"In the early hours of Thursday, at about 4:00 a.m., the Air Defense forces shot down two military strike drones that were en route to Moscow. One was downed in the Kaluga Region and the other near the Central Ring Road [federal highway]," he said.

The strikes came just a day after the Russian military said that it had managed to shoot down two Ukrainian Moscow-bound combat drones -- at least the fourth attack near the capital within a week.

Russia began a full-scale war on Ukraine in February last year, but its capital has come under a series of drone attacks only in recent months.

The Crimean peninsula, rejoined Russia back in 2014 after a referendum, has also been disrupted by several strikes throughout the war, and has seen more frequent attacks during the past several weeks.

The number of drone missile and drone strikes against Russia has dramatically increased in past weeks as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently hinted at a change in Kiev’s failed tactics.

Ukraine launched a hyped counteroffensive in early June after multiple postponements, but till now, the counteroffensive against Russia has been to no avail.

The Kremlin says the West and NATO are playing a direct role in the Ukraine conflict by pouring advanced weapons and military equipment into the country, warning that NATO weapons are "legitimate targets" for its armed forces.

Moscow has frequently warned that continued supply of Western arms and military equipment to the Ukrainian military would only prolong the war and add to the suffering of Ukrainian people.

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