KIEV (AP) — Ukrainian air defenses shot down more than 30 Russian cruise missiles and drones in Moscow’s sixth airstrike in six days on kyiv, local officials said Friday.
The Ukrainian capital was attacked simultaneously from different directions by Iranian-made Shahed drones and cruise missiles from the Caspian region, Kiev official Serhii Popko wrote on Telegram.
A 68-year-old man and an 11-year-old boy were injured in the attack, and houses and cars were also damaged by falling debris, according to Ukraine’s General Prosecutor’s Office.
A recent series of attacks on the capital has strained residents and tested the strength of Ukraine’s air defenses, while Kiev officials plan what they say is a forthcoming counter-offensive to push back forces of the Kremlin 15 months after the start of the war. kyiv was targeted by drone and missile strikes for 17 days last month.
However, Moscow’s strategy could backfire, according to the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank.
The air campaign is aimed at “degrading Ukraine’s counteroffensive capabilities, but… Russian prioritization of Kiev is likely to further limit the campaign’s ability to significantly constrain Ukraine’s potential counteroffensive actions,” the air campaign said in an assessment. Thursday night.
Ukrainian air defenses intercepted all 15 cruise missiles and 21 attack drones, Ukraine’s chief of staff Valerii Zaluzhnyi said.
Meanwhile, Russia’s border regions once again came under attack from Ukraine. Recent cross-border operations have also shaken those regions of Russia and put the Kremlin on guard.
That could be a Ukrainian strategy to disperse Russian forces before a counteroffensive begins.
“Russian commanders now face an acute dilemma of whether to (strengthen) defenses in Russia’s border regions or reinforce their lines in occupied Ukraine,” the UK Ministry of Defense said on Friday.
Air defense systems shot down “several Ukrainian drones” overnight on Thursday in the southern Russian Kursk region, which borders Ukraine, regional governor Roman Starovoit wrote on Telegram.
In the neighboring Bryansk region, which also borders Ukraine, regional governor Alexander Bogomaz said Ukrainian forces shelled two villages on Friday morning. No casualties were reported.
Two drones also attacked power facilities in Russia’s western Smolensk region, which borders Belarus, in the early hours of Friday, authorities said.