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Ukraine war: Russian air forces chief fired, grain infrastructure hit, Moscow drone attack

FILE - Ukrainian air defense intercepts a Shahed drone mid-air in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 30, 2023.
FILE - Ukrainian air defense intercepts a Shahed drone mid-air in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 30, 2023. Copyright Evgeniy Maloletka/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Evgeniy Maloletka/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AFP/AP
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All the latest developments from the Ukraine war.

Russian air forces chief fired

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Russian General Sergei Surovikin, who was once in charge of the offensive in Ukraine, has been sacked from his post as commander-in-chief of the aerospace forces, according to several Russian media reports.

The news comes two months after the Wagner rebellion, with which Surovikin has previously been associated.

"Army General Sergei Surovikin has been dismissed," state news agency Ria Novosti said on Wednesday, citing a source familiar with internal movements in the army.

According to the outlet, Surovikin has been replaced by General Viktor Afzalov.

Neither the Kremlin nor the Russian Ministry of Defence have made any immediate announcements, although changes within the Russian military often take place under the radar. 

Russia hits grain infrastructure

Russian drones have damaged grain infrastructure in the Odesa region overnight, local governor Oleg Kiper said Wednesday morning.

"Production and transhipment complexes” were hit, including “ granaries", but there were no civilian casualties, according to him. 

Wednesday morning's attack - which the governor said lasted "three hours" - follows a spate of strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure for exporting its crops, such as grain silos and ports.

Ukraine's primary inland port across the Danube River from Romania was targeted by Russia earlier in August. 

The strikes have pushed food prices higher, with Ukrainian a crucial exporter of grain on world markets, especially for Africa and Asia. 

Moscow in July refused to extend the landmark Black Sea agreement, which lifted its blockade on Ukrainian ships. 

Kyiv has tried to defy the move, despite Russia claiming it would attack its ships. But the series of strikes on Ukrainian grain infrastructure, which began with the termination of the deal, are hampering its attempts to export wheat and other foodstuffs.  

Sixth consecutive attack on Moscow and region

Russian air defences shot down three Ukrainian drones in Moscow and the surrounding region on Wednesday, Russia's Defence Ministry said early Wednesday. 

It noted a drone was "neutralised" electronically, lost control and collided with a building in the Moscow City complex, a prestigious business area in the capital. 

Moscow blamed the attack, which caused surface damage to several windows on two five-storey buildings, on Kyiv.

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It was the sixth consecutive strike on the Russian capital and its wider region in as many days.

Two other unmanned aerial vehicles were intercepted by Russian air defences in Mojaysky, 12 km from central Moscow, as well as near Khimki, some 20 km from the Kremlin, said the Ministry of Defence.

Civilians killed by Russian shelling in eastern Ukraine

Three people were killed and two others injured on Tuesday evening in Russian bombardments near Lyman in the Donetsk region, according to the head of the area's military administration Pavlo Kyrylenko.

He said Russian "invaders" attacked the two villages with artillery, at around 7:00 p.m. local time. 

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Those killed were two women and a man, aged 63 to 88, who were sitting on a bench when the shelling hit, the Donetsk regional prosecutors office detailed. 

Russia is deliberately "terror bombing" civilians, Dr Jade McGlynn, Research Fellow in War Studies at King's College London, told Euronews in May. 

"The ultimate intention is to break the will of the population so that they will at some point give in and accept Russia," she explained, claiming it was personally "directed" by the Russian President.

"Putin believes the West will give up and Ukrainians will just be grateful for an end to the terror."

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