September 17 (Reuters) – Russia said it foiled a coordinated Ukrainian attack on Crimea early on Sunday, while drones also targeted Moscow, disrupting air traffic in the capital and causing a fire at an oil depot in the country’s southwest.
In recent days, Ukraine launched a series of strikes on Russian military targets in occupied Crimea, including facilities of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet, in an attempt to undermine Moscow’s war efforts in the vital region.
Attacks have also increased deep inside Russia, far from the front lines, with Moscow’s mayor saying at least two drones were shot down in the capital region early Sunday.
Reuters could not independently verify Sunday’s reports and there was no immediate comment from Kiev.
In an op-ed late Saturday, Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s Security Council, urged Kiev’s allies to speed up arms deliveries, saying it was the only way to end the war.
“For example, the complete or partial elimination of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which is a feasible task, should significantly accelerate Russia’s search for a way out of the ongoing war,” Danilov wrote on the Ukrainska Pravda news site.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday that Russian air defense systems destroyed at least six drones that targeted the Crimean Peninsula from different directions.
The report on the messaging app Telegram did not mention whether any damage or casualties had occurred in the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Kiev in a move that was widely condemned in 2014, eight years before the full Russian invasion.
Flights were disrupted
In the Moscow region, a drone was destroyed over the Istra district and another over the Ramensky district, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Telegram, adding that there were no casualties or damage caused by the drone’s debris.
Russian state news agencies said at least 30 flights were postponed and six were canceled at major airports in Moscow, a repeated move by aviation authorities during drone strikes.
A Ukrainian drone destroyed an oil depot early Sunday, starting a fuel tank fire that was later extinguished, a regional governor in southwestern Russia said.
The governor of the Oryol region, Andrei Klychkov, said via the Telegram application: “There were no casualties, all emergency services are working on the territory of the facility.”
He did not specify whether the warehouse was exposed to debris or was targeted by the drone.
Local governor Alexander Gusev and the Defense Ministry said another drone was shot down in Russia’s Voronezh region. According to Gusev, there were no injuries or damage.
Authorities in the Tula region also reported that a drone crashed on the grounds of a logistics center, although there were no casualties or serious damage to infrastructure.
(Reporting by Lydia Kelly in Melbourne – Prepared by Muhammad for the Arabic Bulletin) Additional reporting by Maxim Rodionov; Edited by William Mallard and Gareth Jones
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