Ukraine hit by drone strikes as Russia accuses Kyiv of targeting Crimea

Ukraine said it was killed in overnight drone strikes by Russian forces in a city south of the capital Kyiv, while Moscow accused its neighbor of using unmanned sea and air drones to target its fleet in the occupied Crimea peninsula.

The latest Russian airstrikes targeting energy infrastructure came hours after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin has endorsed the Chinese peace plan, which largely supports Moscow’s position, and is seen as a non-starter by Ukraine and its Western allies.

“Every time someone tries to hear the word ‘peace’ in Moscow, another order is given for such criminal attacks,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, after the country was hit by 20 Iranian-made drones and missiles. and shelling.

Zelenskyy made an unannounced visit to Ukraine’s positions near the eastern city of Bakhmut, where the heaviest fighting is taking place along a 600-mile front. He paid state honors to several soldiers, visited a hospital and heard reports on the military situation, according to a video released by the President’s Office.

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Ukraine’s Air Force said that “Russian invaders attacked Ukraine with Iranian-made ‘kamikaze’ drones of the Shahed-136/131 type”, 16 of which were intercepted by air defenses.

The Ministry of Emergency Situations released photos of a shelter in Rhyshchiv, Kyiv region, which it claimed had been hit by a Russian drone.

Since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion 13 months ago, explosions have been reported in Zhytomyr and other cities west of the capital in the eastern and southern regions of the country, where Russian forces still occupy less than 20 percent of the national territory. A monastery in the Black Sea port city of Odessa was also hit, officials said.

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The southern industrial city of Saborgia was hit by shelling again on Wednesday. Zelensky Posted a video A strike on a residential building in the provincial capital. Zaporizhia city council secretary Anatoly Gurdev said one person was killed and 25 were hospitalized.

Mikhail Rasvojev, Moscow’s top official in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, said in a post on Telegram that Russian forces had “destroyed” three maritime drones. “The anti-aircraft defenses against the air target also worked. The warships were not damaged,” he added.

The attack on Sevastopol, home of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, came a day after Russian authorities blamed a Ukrainian drone strike on the railway hub city of Zhankoy in northern Crimea.

Ukraine’s military intelligence said on Tuesday that the “explosion” destroyed the Kalibr cruise missiles being transported to the Black Sea Fleet. But it stopped short of claiming responsibility for the strike, sticking to Kyiv’s policy of not agreeing to conduct strikes on Russian Federation territory and the occupied peninsula.

According to military analysts, neutralizing Russia’s use of the Black Sea peninsula as a southern military base and staging area for attacks is key to its chances of liberating Ukraine’s more southeastern regions.

Zelenskyy has pledged to liberate all Ukrainian land, including Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014 before triggering a separatist war in the eastern Donbass region, and has urged allies to increase arms supplies to bolster another major counteroffensive.

“The victory of Ukrainian forces on land, in the air and at sea brings peace closer,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

Additional reporting by Ukraine correspondent Christopher Miller

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