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Ukraine, Russia report downing drones from overnight attacks

Written by on April 18, 2024

Ukraine’s military said Thursday it shot down all 13 aerial drones launched by Russia in overnight attacks, while Russia’s military reported destroying 20 Ukrainian drones.

The Ukrainian air force said its air defenses intercepted drones over the Dnipropetrovsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kherson, Khmelnytskyi, Poltava, Ternopil and Vinnytsia regions.

Serhiy Lysak, the regional governor in Dnipropetrovsk, reported damage to two homes, but no injuries on Telegram.

Ivano-Frankivsk’s governor, Svitlana Onyshchuk, said on Telegram that falling debris from the downed drones started multiple fires.

The bulk of Ukraine’s aerial attack focused on the Belgorod region along the border between the two countries.

The Russian Defense Ministry said it destroyed 16 drones and two missiles over Belgorod, where the regional governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov, reported damage to a home and one person injured.

Russian air defenses also shot down three drones over the Rostov region and one more over Voronezh, the Defense Ministry said.

Vasily Golubev, the governor of Rostov, said falling debris damaged an industrial building and injured one person.

G7 meetings

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Thursday that pushing allies to provide Ukraine with more air defenses was his only focus in talks with foreign ministers from the Group of Seven leading industrial nations in Italy.

Speaking before a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Kuleba said getting deliveries of air defense aid is “of fundamental importance.”

Blinken said the talks are happening at a “critical time for Ukraine” and that supporters need to provide Ukraine with “what it needs to continue to effectively defend itself against this Russian aggression.”

“If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is allowed to proceed with impunity, we know he won’t stop at Ukraine, and we can safely predict that his aggression will continue,” Blinken said. “Other would-be aggressors around the world will take note and unleash their own aggressions, and we will have a world of conflict, not a world of peace and security.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg was set to join one of the sessions focused on support for Ukraine.

The U.S. State Department said Blinken would also raise U.S. concerns about China’s support for Russia’s defense industry.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters Tuesday that over the past months, the United States has observed materials being transferred from China to Russia, which is using the materials to rebuild its defense industrial base and produce arms that are showing up on the battlefield in Ukraine.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

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