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Ukraine war: Attack drones intercepted, more heavy fighting in Bakhmut

Ukrainian soldiers fire a cannon near Bakhmut, an eastern city where fierce battles against Russian forces have been taking place, in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, May 15, 2023
Ukrainian soldiers fire a cannon near Bakhmut, an eastern city where fierce battles against Russian forces have been taking place, in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, May 15, 2023 Copyright LIBKOS/AP
Copyright LIBKOS/AP
By Euronews, AFP, AP
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Russian forces strike at Kyiv again, while Wagner's leader said Ukrainian forces won't be able to take Bakhmut in the next two days.

Russian forces attacked Kyiv, and other Ukrainian cities, again at dawn on Friday.

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Ukraine's army said it intercepted all the explosive drones targeting the capital, in a success for the city's air defence systems. 

"The tenth air attack in 19 days in May!" wrote the Kyiv city military administration on Telegram, reporting "several waves" of explosive drones overnight. "All detected aerial targets moving towards Kyiv were destroyed," it said. 

Other attacks targeted the cities of Lviv and Rivne in the west of the country and Kherson and Kryvyi Rih in the south. A series of overnight missile strikes in the southern port city of Odesa killed at least one civilian and injured two others, according to the Ukrainian military's southern command.

The military administration in Kyiv has described the Russian attacks since early May as "unprecedented in their power, intensity and variety".

On Thursday night, Kyiv and several other Ukrainian cities were targeted by a wave of Russian cruise missile strikes from strategic bombers, according to the Ukrainian military. Ukrainian authorities claimed to have shot down almost all the missiles, although the Russian defence ministry said it had "hit" and "destroyed" all the targets.

LIBKOS/AP
A Ukrainian soldier at his position near Bakhmut on Monday, May 15.LIBKOS/AP

Wagner's head said Ukraine cannot take back Bakhmut in the next few days

While Russian forces still hold most of the city, Ukrainian forces have made significant gains in the north and south of Bakhmut, raising hopes that Kyiv forces might be turning the tide on the battle for the eastern city. 

On the fighting front, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group Yevgeny Prigozhin said it was unlikely that Bakhmut would be taken in the next few days.

"It is unlikely that Bakhmut will be completely taken tomorrow or the day after," Prigozhin said on Telegram on Thursday night, reporting heavy fighting in the southwestern suburbs of the city.

Prigozhin has recently accused the Russian military of retreating and leaving his men at the mercy of Ukrainian soldiers in the door-to-door battle raging in and around the town of Bakhmut in Donetsk province. Signalling a rift between Wagner and Moscow, Prigozhin directly appealed to the Russian Ministry of Defence not to abandon positions around the city.

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