Sept 20 (Reuters) – Russia’s air defence systems destroyed Ukraine-launched drones over the Belgorod and Oryol regions late on Monday, the Russian defence ministry said, with local officials saying that there was no destruction or casualties.
The ministry, in posts on the Telegram messaging platform, said that two drones were destroyed over the Oryol region in Russia’s southwest and one over the Belgorod region, which border with Ukraine.
Governors of both of the regions said there was no destruction or casualties. Reuters could not independently verify the reports. There was no immediate comment from Ukraine.
In recent months, drone and missile attacks deep into Russia and on Russian-controlled territory have increased significantly, with Moscow blaming Kyiv for the strikes.
Ukraine seldom comments on the attacks, but it has said that destroying Russia’s military infrastructure far away from the front lines undermines Moscow’s war efforts and helps Kyiv’s ongoing counteroffensive to reclaim land Russia has occupied.
Russian drone attack on Kremenchuk oil refinery
Meanwhile, Russia struck the Kremenchuk oil refinery in the central Poltava region of Ukraine in an overnight drone attack, causing a fire, Governor Dmytro Lunin said on Wednesday.
Refinery operations have been temporarily stopped, he said on the Telegram messaging app, adding that there was no information about casualties.
“Last night, Russians repeatedly attacked Poltava region. Our air defence system did a good job against enemy UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles),” he said.
The refinery has been attacked repeatedly by Russia since it invaded Ukraine last year.
Ukraine’s air defence systems shot down 17 out of 24 drones that Russia launched on Ukraine overnight, the military said.
Zelenskiy at the U.N.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy implored world leaders gathered at the UN general assembly on Tuesday to stand united against Russia’s invasion and said Moscow had to be pushed back so the world could turn to solving pressing global challenges. Zelenskiy drew applause as he took his place at the United Nations General Assembly lectern in New York for his first in-person appearance at the annual gathering since Russia invaded his country in 2022.
UN secretary general António Guterres said countries such as Russia are creating a “world of insecurity” for everyone after its invasion of Ukraine, which he says has “unleashed the next phase of our lives: historic human rights abuse, families torn apart, children traumatised, hopes and dreams shattered.”
The US president, Joe Biden, said the UN gathering this week is “darkened by the shadow of war”, which he described as an “illegal war of conquest without provocation by Russia” against Ukraine. “No nation wants the war to end more than Ukraine”, he said, reiterating US support for Kyiv and its efforts to bring about “a diplomatic resolution to a just and lasting peace”.