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Ukraine and Russia both set to increase efforts around Bakhmut

War in Ukraine
War in Ukraine Copyright Evgeniy Maloletka/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Evgeniy Maloletka/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved
By Philip Andrew Churm with AP AFP
Published on Updated
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Ukraine and Russia are reportedly intensifying operations around the war-ravaged city of Bakhmut as President Zelenskyy's forces increase their use of drones

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Russian air defences have repelled a fresh drone attack on Moscow which forced a temporary shutdown of all three major airports serving the city.

The Moscow region was repeatedly targeted in recent weeks, although there were no reports of major damage.

Russia's defence ministry said their air defences downed one Ukrainian drone in the Mozhaisky district and another in the Khimki district in the Moscow region.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian drone attacks in Crimea are reported to have caused several dozen casualties and damaged ammunition depots.

On Friday, the Russian Ministry of Defence said it had shot down 42 Ukrainian drones there. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was pleased to see the war "coming to Russia".

On Saturday morning, two people were killed and one injured in a Russian bombardment of the Ukrainian village of Podoly, near the north-eastern city of Kupyansk, the region's governor announced.

UK Defence Intelligence suggests the Ukrainian counteroffensive is putting Russian forces under pressure in Bakhmut and in the south of the country, while Russian attacks seem to be concentrated on the front line northeast of Kupyansk-Lyman.

An intelligence update posted on 'X', formally known as Twitter, by the UK's Ministry of Defence predicted Russia would try to regain the initiative by "pivoting back to an operational level offensive.  Kupyansk-Lyman is one potential area for this."

UK Defence Intelligence analysis

The update added that Russia was likely to increase its offensive in Kupyansk-Lyman in the coming weeks as it hopes to advance west toward the Oskii River to form a buffer zone around the Luhansk Oblast. 

Ukraine's use of drones has increased over the past week.  On Wednesday, in the Belgorod region, three civilians were reportedly killed in a Ukrainian drone attack.

On the same day, a Ukrainian drone supposedly crashed into a skyscraper in Moscow's business district, destroying a window.

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