Russian drone attack strikes Ukraine

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Kiev said yesterday that Russian forces launched nearly three dozen Iranian-designed attack drones at Ukraine overnight, and fired guided missiles at its second largest city of Kharkiv in the east.

The aerial attack is the latest overnight barrage by Russian forces and comes after Ukraine’s foreign minister said his country’s priority was to gain control of Ukrainian airspace.

“The occupiers attacked with 33 Shahed-136/131 attack UAVs from the Primorsko-Akhtarsk area and Kursk region of the Russian Federation,” the air force said in a statement.

It added that air defense systems had downed 22 of the drones and that Russian forces had also fired two S-300 anti-aircraft guided missiles from the Belgorod border region.

The air defense systems in eastern, southern and central regions of Ukraine downed the attack drones, the air force added.

The head of the Kharkiv region meanwhile announced that one civilian was killed and another injured in attacks on the northeastern region a day earlier.

“The shelling killed a 62-year-old woman who worked as a boiler room operator. A 63-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman were injured. Both were hospitalised in moderate condition,” he said.

Swathes of the Kharkiv region were captured by Russian forces early the invasion but they were pushed back months later. The region is still shelled persistently.

Meanwhile, Russia has handed short-term jail sentences to six protestors who had rallied against the imprisonment of a prominent local activist earlier this week, a regional court announced yesterday.

Protestors and riot police clashed in two days of protests in a small town in Russia’s central Bashkortostan in a rare show of public dissent amid Moscow’s intense crackdown of regime critics.

A court in the regional capital of Ufa earlier handed six people arrested in protests on Jan. 15 jail sentences of between 10-13 days for organizing an unsanctioned rally, the court said in a social media post.

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