Moscow claims to have thwarted several attacks with Ukrainian drones in southern Russia

The Russian authorities accused the Ukrainian forces of launching at least three drone strikes on their territory, which would have been neutralized by their defense systems. However, kyiv has not ruled on the accusations. Meanwhile, the situation is “extremely tense” in Bakhmut, where invading troops are trying to surround this strategic city, the center of the deadliest clashes.

Russia accuses the country it invaded more than a year ago of launching drone strikes against its territory.

The Kremlin Ministry of Defense assured that the Ukrainian Army would have launched two assaults with drones against civilian infrastructure targets, in two regions of Krasnodar and Adygea, in the south of its territory. However, he specified that the launches were failed attacks.

“Both drones lost control and deviated from their flight paths. One fell into a field, the other, deviating from its trajectory, did not damage the intended target,” the Russian portfolio said.

Subsequently, the governor of the Moscow Oblast, Andrei Vorobyov, stated that Kiev allegedly launched another drone that crashed in the vicinity of a natural gas distribution station, near the city of Kolomna, 110 kilometers from the center of the Russian capital. .

The Ukrainian authorities have not ruled on the accusations. If confirmed, it would be the closest attack of this type to Moscow since Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of his former ally in the former Soviet Union.

Posts on Russian social media showed the gray metal remains of an unmanned aircraft lying on the edge of a forest, but the images have not been independently verified.

Vorobyov asserted that the drone appeared to have been intended to attack a “civilian infrastructure facility”, although no damage was reported and it ruled out danger to residents.

In the midst of this climate of tension, the main civilian airport in Russia’s second city, Saint Petersburg, suspended all flights for an hour, for what the Defense Ministry claimed were exercises with fighter jets in the western airspace of Russia. his country.

The confrontation rises after Putin warned in recent days that he would strengthen his nuclear forces in the face of alleged threats from the West, due to his increasing support in arms for the Army of the attacked country.

The situation is “extremely tense” in Bakhmut

Kremlin troops tighten their siege on the city of Bakhmut, in the Donbass region, in the east of the invaded nation, making it difficult for a possible Ukrainian counteroffensive next spring. By then, military aid promised by the United States and its Western allies is expected to begin arriving in kyiv.

Around the city, Moscow’s men, including members of the Wagner mercenary group, are attempting to cut off the supply lines of the Ukrainian defenders to force them to surrender or withdraw.

The commander of the Ukrainian ground forces described the situation as “extremely tense”.

Two Ukrainian soldiers stationed in a trench near the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, Ukraine, on November 25, 2022.
Two Ukrainian soldiers stationed in a trench near the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, Ukraine, on November 25, 2022. Leah Millis/Reuters

Amid a series of explosions in the area, a soldier quoted by ‘Reuters’ said that “the city is on fire, the enemy is pressing.”

For its part, the Russian state news agency ‘RIA’ published a video that it claimed showed Russian Su-25 fighter jets roaring over Bakhmut. “We are happy that they are ours,” said a man who was identified as a Wagner fighter.

The Kiev army stressed that Russia is shelling settlements around Bakhmut, which before the war had a population of around 70,000 but is now estimated to be no more than 5,000. The town is in ruins after months of intense warfare.

“During the last day, our soldiers repelled more than 60 enemy attacks,” including the northern villages of Yadhidne and Berkhivka, the Ukrainian Armed Forces said.

Bakhmut has been the scene of some of the bloodiest fighting and its capture is strategic for Moscow as it would open the way to take the last remaining urban centers in the Donetsk region.

It is precisely one of the four towns – along with Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia – that Putin’s government annexed last September in the middle of disputed referendums, denounced by the international community as “illegal”.

This February 28, the Russian president ordered the Federal Security Service to reinforce surveillance in the four regions, currently only partially controlled by his military. He also called for countering what he described as increasing espionage and sabotage operations against Russia by Ukraine and the West.

Russia will “never give up” annexed regions of Ukraine

As the fighting rages, the Kremlin maintains that it is open to dialogue with Ukraine, but at the same time insists that it will not give up the Ukrainian regions it annexed.

“There are certain realities that have already become an internal factor. I mean the new territories. The Constitution of the Russian Federation exists and cannot be ignored. Russia will never be able to give in on this. These are important realities,” the spokesman said. of the Russian Presidency, Dmitry Peskov.

The Putin government spokesman insisted that his country would be willing to sit down to a negotiating table only if kyiv accepts its control over those regions.

In this file photo taken on April 14, 2020, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in Moscow, Russia.
In this file photo taken on April 14, 2020, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in Moscow, Russia. Alexei Nikolsky/AP

Russian forces do not fully control any of these four regions and even amid accusations by the international community of carrying out irregular referendums in which the Russian military allegedly coerced the population, Putin signed “accession treaties” formalizing your disposal.

Kiev has promised to recover all its territories seized by the Kremlin, including Crimea, a province in southern Ukraine that Putin seized in 2014. For some experts the conflict has become a war of attrition that promises to spread.

With Reuters, AP and EFE

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Written by Editor TLN

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