The Russian Defence Ministry headquarters in Moscow The Russian Defence Ministry headquarters in Moscow  (AFP or licensors)

Russia claims to have downed more Ukrainian drones

Russia says that on Tuesday it shot down several Ukraine-launched drones targeting Moscow. The announcement came amid reports that Russia seeks to intensify its war against Ukraine by contacting North Korea for support.

By Stefan J. Bos

On Tuesday, Russia's defense ministry said that its air defense systems destroyed two drones over the Kaluga and Tver regions, which border the Moscow area. It added that they also destroyed one closer to the capital, over the Istra district.

Authorities said operations at Moscow's main airports were briefly interrupted due to the drone strikes before resuming later Tuesday. Earlier, Russia's defense ministry said its forces shot down at least three Ukraine-launched drones targeting the country's capital.

Listen to Stefan Bos' report

Separately, Moscow claimed that Russian air defenses hit a Ukrainian aeroplane-style drone over the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

The turbulence came as the United States claimed that North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, will travel to Russia this month for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss supplying weapons to the Kremlin for the war in Ukraine.

Russia seeks more weapons to continue its invasion of Ukraine amid claims that Kyiv reclaimed some territory. Kyiv said Tuesday that its troops had "regained more territories" on the eastern front and were advancing farther south in their counteroffensive against Russian forces.

However, Kyiv also acknowledged losses, saying Russian drones had detonated on the territory of Nato alliance member Romania during an overnight airstrike on a Ukrainian port across the Danube River.

Rare stray fire

Romania's government denied its territory had been hit by rare stray fire from the war in Ukraine.

And there were more difficulties. Footage showed shocked witnesses in a car driving past an apparently destroyed British Challenger 2 in Ukraine near the village of Robotyne on the key Zaporizhzhia front line. It would be the first time one of the tanks delivered to Ukraine has been destroyed in combat. And it was a reminder that Russian attacks also damage Western military hardware.

As clashes continue, there is also increased concern over the increased use of cluster bombs, despite the fact that those weapons are banned in many nations.

The Cluster Munition Coalition said Tuesday that more than 900 people "were killed or injured by cluster munitions" in Ukraine last year amid broad Russian use of the weapons.

Cluster bombs can be dropped from planes or fired from artillery before exploding midair and scattering bomblets over a wide area. They also pose a lasting threat, as many fail to explode on impact, effectively acting as landmines that can go off years later.

The Cluster Munition Coalition now fears Ukraine will also increasingly use cluster bombs following an influx of the controversial weapons from the United States.

05 September 2023, 16:19