Ukraine has been attacked by drones, and Russia accuses Kiev of targeting Crimea

Ukraine said that seven people were killed in a town south of the capital, Kiev, in attacks carried out by Russian forces with drones at night, while Moscow accused its neighbor of using sea and air drones to target its naval fleet stationed in occupied Crimea.

The latest Russian airstrikes targeting energy infrastructure came hours after Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded a visit to Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin has endorsed a Chinese peace plan that largely supports Moscow’s position and is seen by Ukraine and its Western allies as a start.

“Every time someone tries to hear the word ‘peace’ in Moscow, another order is given there with such criminal strikes,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, adding that the country had been hit by 20 Iranian-made drones and missiles. and bombing.

Zelensky made an unannounced visit to Ukraine’s positions near the eastern city of Bakhmut, where the fiercest fighting is taking place along the 600-mile front line. He bestowed official decorations on a number of soldiers, visited a hospital and listened to reports on the military situation, according to a video released by the president’s office.

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The Ukrainian Air Force said, “The Russian invaders attacked Ukraine with Iranian-made Shahed 136/131 kamikaze planes,” adding that the air defenses intercepted 16 of them.

The Ministry of Emergency Situations released photos of a damaged dormitory in Rzhishiv, south of Kiev, where the deaths occurred.

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Explosions have been reported in other cities including Zhitomir, west of the capital, and frontline towns in the eastern and southern regions of the country where Russian forces still occupy just under 20 percent of the national territory since Moscow launched its all-out invasion 13 months ago. Officials said a monastery in the Black Sea city of Odessa was also bombed.

The southern industrial city of Zaporizhia was repeatedly bombed on Wednesday. Zelensky Post a video Strike on an apartment building in the provincial capital. The secretary of the Zaporizhia City Council, Anatoly Kortev, said that one person was killed and 25 hospitalized.

Mikhail Razovugayev, Moscow’s chief official in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, said in a post on Telegram that Russian forces had “destroyed” three drones. Anti-aircraft defenses against an air target were also successful. He added that the warships were not damaged.

The attack on Sevastopol, home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet, came a day after Russian officials accused Ukraine of a drone attack on Djanko, a railway hub town in northern Crimea.

Referring to the reported incident, Ukraine’s military intelligence said on Tuesday that an “explosion” had destroyed Kalibr cruise missiles that were being transferred to the Black Sea Fleet. But it stopped short of taking responsibility for the strike, and stuck to Kiev’s policy of not recognizing strikes on the territory of the Russian Federation as well as the occupied peninsula.

Neutralizing Russia’s use of the Black Sea peninsula as a southern military base and staging area for attacks is key to Ukraine’s chances of liberating more of the southeast, military analysts said.

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Zelensky vowed to liberate all of Ukraine’s territory, including Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014 before sparking a proxy separatist war in the eastern Donbass region, and urged allies to ramp up arms supplies to bolster another major counteroffensive.

“The success of the Ukrainian forces on land, in the sky and at sea brings peace closer,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

Additional reporting by Christopher Miller, Ukraine correspondent

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