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Russia’s suicide drone attack kills two in Odesa as Ukraine downs 32/46 UAVs

Russia struck central/southern Ukraine using 46 launched suicide drones overnight, air defenses intercepted 32 drones but falling wreckage still killed 2 civilians in Odesa.
Aftermath of the Russian Shahed drone attack on Odesa City in the early hours of 27 December 2023. Photo: Telegram/Сили Оборони Півдня України

On the evening of 26 December Russia launched a suicide drone attack that lasted until the early hours of the next day, Ukrainian Air Force says. The attack targeted primarily southern and central regions of Ukraine. 

According to the Air Force, the Russians launched 46 Shahed-136/131 drones from the south and southeast, namely Balaklava in occupied Crimea and Russia’s Primorsko-Akhtarsk.

The Air Force says Ukrainian air defenders managed to shoot down 32 Shaheds, as the country’s tactical aircraft, surface-to-air missile units, and mobile fire groups were involved in repelling the Russian air attack.

“Most of the drones that failed to be shot down attacked the frontline areas, in particular Kherson Oblast. Several other UAVs crashed without causing any damage,” the Air Force wrote.

Air defences were active in Mykolaiv, Odesa, Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, Vinnytsia, Zaporizhzhia, Khmelnytskyi, and Kirovohrad regions.

The Air Force Command South reported that 15 of the destroyed Shahed drones were downed in Ukraine’s south. According to the Command, the attack consisted of two waves launched 15 minutes apart and lasted seven hours.

“The air defence forces of the Southern Air Command destroyed 11 enemy Shahed-136/131 attack UAVs, and another 4 were shot down by other units of the Southern Defence Forces of Ukraine. In addition, reconnaissance UAVs “Supercam” and “Merlin-BP” were destroyed in Kherson Oblast over the past day,” the report reads.

Odesa Oblast regional chief Oleh Kiper said air defense units downed 11 Shaheds in his region, although the wreckage of the downed drones caused casualties among civilians.

One of the downed drones crashed into the dacha summer cottages in Odesa City’s suburbs, he says.

“Four victims were discovered in the suburbs of Odesa, including a 17-year-old teenager. One person died on the spot, and another man, who was taken to hospital in serious condition, died. The teenager remains in hospital, the woman and the man are being treated on an outpatient basis,” Kiper reported.

In recent months, Russia attacks Ukraine with its Iranian-made Shahed drones daily, oftn causing civilian casualties.

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