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Russia Launches Drone Strikes Across Ukraine

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Russia carried out a drone attack in the Kyiv region and Ukraine said it shot down several aerial vehicles in the south, following days of strikes that have galvanized Western support for fortifying Ukraine’s air defenses.

The head of the Kyiv region’s military administration, Oleksiy Kuleba, said rescue workers were at the site of the attack, without specifying where or what had been targeted. Early indications were that suicide drones had been deployed, he said.

Ukraine’s air-force command also said it had shot down six Iranian-made drones over the south of the country. Russia has increasingly been deploying drones, including the so-called kamikaze variety, which are relatively small and fly at a low altitude, in conjunction with missiles to exploit gaps in Ukraine’s existing patchwork of air defenses.

Earlier this week, Russia carried out one of its broadest and most intense barrages of the war, targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure with more than 80 missiles and drones following weeks of setbacks on the battlefield. Ukraine’s air defenses shot down roughly half of the Russian missiles on Monday, but Kyiv has amped up calls for more sophisticated defense weaponry.

Areas controlled by Russia

Ukrainian counteroffensives

Areas controlled by Russia

Ukrainian counteroffensives

Areas controlled by Russia

Ukrainian counteroffensives

In response, Ukraine’s partners pledged to bolster the country’s air defenses at a meeting of the 50-nation Ukraine Contact Group in Brussels on Wednesday.

“The more audacious and cruel Russian terror becomes, the more obvious it is to the world that helping Ukraine to protect the sky is one of the most important humanitarian tasks for Europe of our time,” Ukrainian President

Volodymyr Zelensky

said in his nightly address.

Gen.

Mark Milley,

the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Wednesday said the U.S. and its allies planned to help Ukraine field an integrated air-defense system to protect against Russian cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and aircraft.

A rocket crater in a central Kyiv park on Wednesday, two days after the Ukrainian capital experienced its broadest and most intense Russian assault in months.



Photo:

dimitar dilkoff/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Ukrainian emergency services worked in Zaporizhzhia in the country’s southeast after a Russian strike hit the region on Monday.



Photo:

Cover Images/Zuma Press

The system would be assembled from a mix of allied systems that can defend against low, medium and high-altitude threats, Gen. Milley said. He didn’t say when such a system might be in place.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace on Wednesday pledged to deliver Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles, or AMRAAM, in the coming weeks.

Defense ministers from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 30 countries, plus aspiring members of the military alliance Finland and Sweden, gathered Thursday in Brussels for a semiannual meeting focused largely on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The meeting is set to cover nuclear-arms policy, among other subjects. The issue has regained relevance lately following nuclear saber rattling from Russian President

Vladimir Putin,

who has made veiled threats to use atomic weapons.

The recent intensification of missile-and-drone attacks followed weeks of setbacks for Russia, culminating in an explosion that damaged a key bridge linking Russia with the occupied Crimean Peninsula.

Russia’s domestic intelligence agency on Wednesday said it had detained five citizens of Russia and three citizens of Ukraine and Armenia, on suspicion of involvement in preparing the blast. Officials in Kyiv haven’t claimed responsibility for the bridge explosion but celebrated the incident.

Write to Isabel Coles at [email protected]

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