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Several injured in Russian drone strikes on Ukraine

Ukraine has said its air defence systems had intercepted dozens of Iran-designed attack drones launched by Russian forces in an overnight barrage that left seven people injured.

Kyiv has appealed to its Western allies to help bolster its air defences to fend off systematic Russian aerial attacks on key infrastructure throughout the two-year invasion.

“As a result of combat operations, 38 Shaheds were shot down,” the air force said in a statement referring to the unmanned aerial vehicles, adding that the drones were launched from Russian border regions and the annexed Crimean peninsula.

Ukraine’s prosecutor general said seven people including a 10-year-old boy were injured during the overnight attacks in the eastern Sumy region.

Officials in the southern Odesa region said a recreational facility, a gas pipeline and residential buildings were damaged by debris from the downed drones.

In the Khmelnytsky region, officials said an “infrastructure object” was damaged and some residents were left without electricity.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian drone struck a fuel tank at one of Russia’s largest iron ore plants, though no one was injured and the plant was working as normal, Russian officials and the owner of the plant said.

Unverified video footage on Russian Telegram channels showed plumes of black smoke soaring into the sky in the Kursk region and damage at the Mikhailovsky GOK iron ore plant which is owned by Metalloinvest, Russia’s largest iron ore producer.

“Today, as a result of a drone attack in the Zheleznogorsky district, a fuel tank at the fuel and lubricants warehouse of the Mikhailovsky Mining and Processing Plant caught fire,” the TASS news agency quoted the plant as saying.

It said the plant was working as normal.

Kursk governor Roman Starovoit blamed Ukraine for the attack on Kursk region’s Zheleznogorsky district, which is known for its iron mines and is located around 90km from the Ukrainian frontier. He said later that there was a risk of missile strikes on the area.

Mikhailovsky GOK is one of the largest iron ore mining and processing facilities in Russia. Through open-pit mining, Mikhailovsky GOK develops an iron ore deposit with proven reserves of 10.4 billion tonnes, according to Metalloinvest.

Ukrainian drone attacks have repeatedly hit Russian oil refineries and other energy infrastructure in recent weeks.

Kursk region has come under regular attack from Ukraine since Russia ordered tens of thousands troops into the country in February 2022.

Authorities in Russia’s Belgorod and Voronezh regions, which are also regular targets for attack close to the frontline in Ukraine, said that drones had been downed there, too.

The Baza Telegram channel, which is close to Russian law enforcement, reported that the drones downed over Voronezh had been trying to attack a military airbase and an oil depot.

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