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Russian air attack kills civilian as Ukraine downs all 20 Russian Shahed drones, missile

Ukraine destroyed all 20 Russian explosive drones in an overnight aerial attack, but wreckage from one downed drone crashed and killed a civilian in Odesa Oblast.
Aftermath of Russia’s downed drone crash in Odesa Oblast during the air attack on 16-17 December 2023. Photo: Telegram/Олег Кіпер
Russian air attack kills civilian as Ukraine downs all 20 Russian Shahed drones, missile

In the late hours of 16 December and continuing into the early hours of the following day, Russian forces carried out their aerial explosive drone attack on Ukraine, killing at least one civilian. Russia carries out such attacks on Ukrainian regions every day for months.

Ukraine’s Air Force says the Russians launched 20 Shahed one-way attack drones from Russia’s Primorsko-Akhtarsk and occupied Crimea’s Cape Chauda, targeting southern Ukraine. Additionally, the Russian occupation forces launched one Iskander-K cruise missile from occupied Crimea and one Kh-59 air-launched guided missile from the occupied part of Kherson Oblast.

“As a result of combat operations, 20 Shaheds and one Kh-59 guided missile were shot down. The Iskander-K cruise missile did not reach its target. Air targets were destroyed in Odesa, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, and Khmelnytskyi oblasts,” the Air Force reported.

Drones attack Russia’s tactical bomber base in Rostov Oblast (updated)

According to the Air Force, Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile units and mobile fire groups were involved in repelling the air attack. The mobile fire groups include small detachments equipped with machine guns or anti-aircraft guns, and searchlights. While the air attacks are ongoing, the Ukrainian Defense Forces deploy such groups along the route of the Shahed drone movement.

One killed in Odesa

Odesa Oblast Head Oleh Kiper reported that one civilian was killed in the region as a downed Russian drone crashed in a residential area.

According to Kiper, Odesa Oblast air defenders shot down nine Shahed-136 “kamikaze” drones.

“However, one of the downed drones crashed into a residential area in Odesa district and exploded. It destroyed residential homes and a warehouse of a private sports facility, and started a fire. Rescuers quickly extinguished the fire. A dead person was found in one of the houses,” Kiper wrote.

A detached house on fire in Odesa district after a Shahed drone crash during Russia’s air attack on 17 December 2023. Photo: Telegram: Олег Кіпер

He says today’s attack was the third Russian attack that targeted Odesa Oblast over the last week.

Khmelnytskiy Oblast authorities said two of the drones were destroyed in the skies of the region.

“The wreckage of one of them damaged a detached house, causing the roof to catch fire. There were no reports of injuries or deaths,” the Khmelnytskyi Regional Military Administration reported.

Kherson and Zaporizhzhia authorities did not report any damage specifically linked to the Russian air attack. However, a Russian artillery strike on central Kherson City at 10:20 on 17 December claimed the life of an 81-year-old local man, according to the authorities.

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