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Ukrainian air defenses down 18/19 Russian suicide drones launched from occupied Crimea

Russian forces again used occupied Crimea to launch overnight drone attack across Ukraine, employing 19 drones targeting multiple regions; Ukraine’s air defenders downed 18 of the UAVs, as per Ukraine’s Air Force.
Shahed 136
Iranian-made Shahed-136 one-way attack drone. Photo: Sobhan Farajvan

Overnight into 20 December, Russian forces launched Shahed-type one-way attack drones from Crimea, the Russian-occupied Ukrainian peninsula, specifically from Chauda and Balaklava, according to Ukraine’s Armed Forces Air Force.

The groups of the drones spread across multiple Ukrainian regions, primarily the country’s south, center, and north.

“A total of 19 Shahed drones were launched. 18 of them were destroyed by the units and systems of Ukraine’s Air Force and Defense Forces within the Odesa, Kherson, Khmelnytskyi, Dnipropetrovsk, Vinnytsia, Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Kirovohrad oblasts,” the Air Force’s report reads.

Kherson Oblast’s authorities reported that 16 civilians were injured by the Russian attacks in the region, including 14 children, since yesterday morning, not attributing any casualties specifically to the Shahed attack. Th administrations of Kyiv, Chenihiv, and Kirovohrad oblasts didn’t provide any details on last night’s air attack.

The Khmelnytskyi Oblast Military administration says two Shahed were destroyed in the region, not causing any damage and not injuring anyone. Air defenders downed one Shahed in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, otherwise the night was quiet in the region, according to the authorities.

According to the Air Force, the Russians also fired two anti-aircraft guided missiles from the S-300 air defense system from Russia’s Belgorod region, targeting the Kharkiv Oblast. The Air Force says no one was hurt in the attack, according to initial reports.

Russia occupied the Crimean peninsula back in 2014 and used it as a springboard for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Major supply routes for Russia’s occupation forces in Ukraine’s south run through Crimea, and its territory is often used to launch drone and missile attacks against mainland Ukraine.

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