50 Ukrainian drones shot down: Moscow

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In this photo provided by the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Military Administration, a view of the damage after Russia’s attack on residential building in Dnipro, Ukraine on April 19. (AP)

KYIV, Ukraine, April 20, (AP): Ukraine launched a barrage of drones across Russia overnight, the Defense Ministry in Moscow said Saturday, in attacks that appeared to target the country’s energy infrastructure.
Fifty drones were shot down by air defences over eight Russian regions, including 26 over the country’s western Belgorod region close to the Ukrainian border. Two people – a woman with a broken leg and the man caring for her – died during the overnight barrage, after explosions sparked a blaze that set their home alight, Belgorod Gov Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on social media. A pregnant woman and her unborn child were also killed in shelling later Saturday, he said.
Drones were also reportedly destroyed over the Bryansk, Kursk, Tula, Smolensk, Ryazan, Kaluga regions across Russia’s west and south, as well as in the Moscow region.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said that it had shot down a Ukrainian Sukhoi Su-25 fighter jet. It provided no details and the claims could not be independently verified.
Ukrainian officials normally decline to comment about attacks on Russian soil. However, many of the drone strikes appeared to be directed toward Russia’s energy infrastructure.
The head of the Kaluga region, Vladislav Shapsha, said Saturday that a drone strike had sparked a blaze at an electrical substation, while Bryansk Gov Alexander Bogomaz and Smolensk Gov Vasily Anokhin also reported fires at fuel and energy complexes.
In recent months, Russian refineries and oil terminals have become priority targets of Ukrainian drone attacks, part of stepped-up assaults on Russian territory.
Ukrainian drone developers have been extending the weapons’ range for months, as Kyiv attempts to compensate for its battlefield disadvantage in weapons and troops. The unmanned aerial vehicles are also an affordable option while Ukraine waits for more US military aid.

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