Ukraine claims to shot down rockets as Russian attacks on its clinics


KYIV (Reuters) Ukrainian forces overwhelmed Russia’s southern Belgorod region on its border with Ukraine, hours after drones attacked a Russian town in the region bordering on annexed Crimea. It was hit by artillery shells, mortar shells and drones, officials said.

Ukrainian officials said that they had shot down more than 10 Russian rockets and more than 20 drones during nighttime attacks on the capital Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk city and eastern regions.

Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said in a statement that the fire broke out after two attacks on an oil depot outside the city of Kharkiv in the northeastern part of the country damaged equipment used to pump petroleum products. 

Russia has stepped up its missile and drone strikes against Ukraine this month, targeting logistics and infrastructure facilities ahead of an expected Ukrainian counterattack.

The Ukrainian Air Force said it had shot down 10 missiles fired from the Caspian Sea, 23 Iranian-made Shahid drones and two reconnaissance drones during the nighttime strike.

Meanwhile, two people were killed and 30 others, including two children, injured in an attack by Moscow forces in the central Ukraine city of Dnipropetrovsk, which houses a psychological clinic and a veterinary hospital, Ukrainian officials said.

A video released by provincial governor Serhi Raisak shows the fire engulfing the three-story building, leaving only fragments of the walls, nearly destroyed as firefighters try to extinguish the fire. The situation was reflected.

Krasnodar Territory Governor Veniamin Kondratiev wrote in Telegram that there were no casualties and that some buildings were damaged, but critical infrastructure was intact.

Krasnodar mayor Evgeny Naumov said residential and office buildings were damaged.

Drone attacks on Russian border regions have been a regular occurrence since the invasion began in February 2022, with an increase in attacks over the past month. Earlier this month, a Krasnodar refinery was hit by drones for the second day in a row.

At least two civilians have been killed and three wounded in the past 24 hours in a Russian attack on Ukraine, the Ukrainian president’s office said.

According to Russia’s foreign ministry, Chinese envoy Li Hui met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow and exchanged “opinions on the situation around Ukraine and prospects for resolving the dispute.”

In a statement, Lavrov cited “serious obstacles to the resumption of peace talks caused by Ukrainian and Western mediators,” but did not specify Li’s remarks or suggestions.

China’s Xi Jinping government is neutral and wants to act as a mediator in the conflict, but politically it supports Moscow. Beijing announced a peace deal in February, which was largely rejected by Ukrainian allies, with Russian President Vladimir Putin insisting the military must first be withdrawn.