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Russia and Ukraine say civilians killed in overnight attacks

Russia also said Ukraine launched overnight drone attacks on areas closer to the countries' shared border


Russia and Ukraine said Friday that overnight aerial attacks had killed civilians, as both countries launched a wave of artillery and drone fire.

A Russian drone strike killed two people in the central Ukrainian region of Vinnytsia, Ukraine’s police said, while Moscow-installed officials said shelling by Kyiv’s army on the Russian-held city of Donetsk killed three children.

“Russian troops attacked the Vinnytsia region with drones, there are dead and wounded,” Ukraine’s national police said in a statement on Telegram.

“As a result of the enemy attack, a 52-year-old man was killed and his 53-year-old wife died in hospital,” it said.

The Vinnytsia region is more than 400 kilometres (250 miles) from the frontlines.

Moscow-installed officials in the Russian-held city of Donetsk said shelling there had killed three children.

“As a result of barbaric overnight shelling … a direct hit was recorded on a house in a residential area,” Alexey Kulemzin, the Russian-appointed mayor of Donetsk, said in a post on Telegram.

“Three children died. A girl born in 2007, a girl born in 2021, and a boy born in 2014,” he added.

Russian forces last month captured the city of Avdiivka — just a few kilometres to the north of Donetsk — and said pushing Ukrainian forces back would help protect residents of areas under its control from shelling.

The head of Ukraine’s army said Friday that Russia had launched a wave of attacks to try to break through further in the area.

“The enemy has concentrated its main efforts and has been trying to break through … for several days in a row,” Ukrainian commander-in-chief Oleksandr Syrsky said in a statement after visiting troops on the frontlines around Avdiivka.

Ukraine’s air force said earlier that Russia fired 27 Iranian-style drones and eight missiles at its territory overnight — including at the Vinnytsia region.

It claimed to have shot them all down.

Russia also said Ukraine launched overnight drone attacks on areas closer to the countries’ shared border.

Russia’s defence ministry said Friday it had downed drones and rockets over the Belgorod border region and the Kaluga region, southwest of the capital Moscow.

“Air defence equipment intercepted and destroyed five drones and two rockets over the territories of the Belgorod and Kaluga regions,” it said in a statement on Telegram.

In a later statement it said another seven Ukrainian-launched rockets had been shot down over Belgorod at 8:15 am (0515 GMT) — shortly after voting in Russia’s presidential elections got underway in the region.

The governor of Russia’s Lipetsk region also said Friday two drones were downed in a district around 300 kilometres (180 miles) away from Ukraine.

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