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Russia thwarts major Ukrainian drone attack over several regions

A Pantsyr S-1 air defense missile system is seen atop the Russian defense ministry headquarters in Moscow on August 3, 2023. (AFP file photo)

Russian forces have thwarted a major Ukrainian drone attack on the Russian border regions, involving at least 24 drones and two missiles, the Russian defense ministry has said.

"Air deface destroyed four Ukrainian drones over the territory of the Bryansk, Smolensk, and Tula regions," the defense ministry said in a statement on Sunday, noting that Ukrainian drone attacks were launched in over four regions in addition to Moscow.

It also added that two Ukrainian missiles over the Azov Sea, which were heading Russia, were also downed by the Russian military forces.

"Russian air defense located and destroyed two Ukrainian missiles in the air over the water area of the Azov Sea," Russia's defense ministry said.

Meanwhile, Moscow’s Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, said that Ukrainian drones were shot down in several areas of the Moscow region. "A mass drone attack was attempted overnight."

One person was injured in Tula when an intercepted drone hit an apartment building, the region's governor, Alexei Dyumin, said.

Plane flights were delayed or canceled at Moscow's main airports due to the drone attack, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

Ukrainian strikes had struck the power system in the Russian-controlled region of Donetsk, leaving some people there without electricity and heat in the cold weather.

Kiev has been targeting Russian regions with drones for months. The latest attacks came as Ukraine also marks a decade since the Maidan pro-EU revolution.

The pro-Moscow government in Kiev was replaced in 2014 by a Western-backed Nazi group poised against the Russian-speaking people in southern and eastern Ukraine.

Moscow views the Maidan revolution as illegitimate and when it launched its special military operation in Donbas in February 2022, it aimed to stop Kiev's persecution of its population.

"In Kiev ten years ago there was a coup with the use of force, the legitimate authorities were overthrown," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday.

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