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Russia says it thwarts 20 Ukrainian drones, Moscow attacked

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Russia said on Sunday (25 November) that it had thwarted a major Ukrainian drone attack with at least 20 drones shot down over Russian regions, including Moscow.

Russia’s defence ministry said Ukrainian drones were shot down over regions including Moscow, Tula, Kaluga and Bryansk. One person was injured in Tula when an intercepted drone hit an apartment building, the region’s governor Alexei Dyumin said.

“A mass drone attack was attempted overnight,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said. Ukrainian drones were shot down in several areas of the Moscow region, Russian officials said.

The Kommersant newspaper said that flights were delayed or cancelled at Moscow’s main airports due to the drone attack.

Russian air defense systems shot down 11 Ukrainian drones in the Central Federal District at night, and another 9 drones were destroyed in the morning. Sobyanin said that some of the downed UAVs were flying towards Moscow

5 drones were intercepted in the Moscow region: in…

— Victor vicktop55 (@vicktop55) November 26, 2023

Ukraine needs more air defences to protect its grain export routes as well as regions bordering Russia, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Saturday, as he addressed an international summit on food security in Kyiv.

“There is a deficit of air defence – that is no secret,” Zelenskyy told the Grain from Ukraine summit, which was attended by senior officials from European countries, including Swiss President Alain Berset and Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte.

Zelenskyy was speaking after Russia attacked Ukraine with 75 drones overnight, the biggest drone assault of the war. The joint press conference of the three leaders was cut short by another air raid siren.

Zelenskyy said Ukraine would be supplied by its foreign partners with vessels to accompany convoys of cargo ships from Ukraine’s ports to guarantee their security.

“I have agreements with several countries about powerful accompaniment of convoys by Ukrainians, but using (foreign) equipment,” he said.

Separately, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pledged support in a letter to Zelenskyy that she shared on social media platform X, saying the Commission would make available €50 million for “quick repairs and upgrades of infrastructure in Ukraine’s ports.”

The Ukrainian president said Kyiv hoped to solve its air defence shortage through new supplies from partners and increasing its own production capacity, something on which he said there had been progress.

“As of today, I can’t say details what we are making and where, but there is progress,” he said.

Ukraine, a major exporter of grain, has been exporting grain via unilateral corridors through the Black sea, after Russia withdrew in July from a UN-brokered deal to allow grain ships through its blockade.

Ukraine’s current Black sea grain export corridors all start from ports in Ukraine’s southern region of Odesa.

“There are certain air defence systems… we are asking for them,” Zelenskyy said. “We’ve already got an answer when those systems will start to guard that region. Because there, both the corridor and the people are important.”

Asked about the protests by Polish and Slovak truckers which have blocked much of Ukraine’s road-based cargo supply in recent days, Zelenskyy blamed the problem on the internal politics of those countries.

“I believe that there are difficulties on the border first and foremost because of certain political steps by our neighbours,” he told a press conference after the summit.

Zelenskyy said he was confident the issue would be solved if Ukraine’s neighbours were given “a bit of time” to deal with the dispute.

Read more with EURACTIV



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