Ukraine war: drone strikes on Russia, uranium tank shells for Kyiv

Russian shelling in Ukraine kills at least 16 people
Russian shelling in Ukraine kills at least 16 people Copyright Evgeniy Maloletka/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
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All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.

More drone strikes on Russia


Five drones were shot down over three Russian regions overnight, with one targeting Moscow, Russian officials announced on Thursday, but didn't report any casualties.

One drone targeted Moscow, but was shot down southeast of the city without causing any damage or injuries, the city's mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

Two more drones were shot down over the southern region of Rostov, which borders Ukraine, said regional Governor Vasily Golubev. The debris fell in the centre of Rostov-on-Don, the region's capital, damaging several cars and shattering windows in three buildings, Golubev said. One person sought medical assistance.

Two other drones were shot down over the Bryansk region, which also borders Ukraine, Governor Alexander Bogomaz reported. Drone debris damaged a railway station and several cars, he said.

Russia's Defence Ministry blamed the attacks on Ukraine. Ukraine usually does not take credit for strikes inside Russia.

Drone attacks on Crimea and Russian regions have become increasingly common in recent months. Fuel depots and airfields have been hit in drone attacks that Russian officials blamed on Kyiv. In recent weeks drones have repeatedly targeted Moscow, with some hitting buildings in the city center, while others being shot down on the outskirts of the city.

Russia slams US plan to arm Ukraine with uranium tank shells

Russia has criticised Washington's plans to provide depleted Uranium shells as a part of its new aid to Ukraine, calling it an "indicator of inhumanity".

The US on Wednesday announced it was sending depleted uranium anti-tank rounds to Ukraine, following Britain's lead in sending the controversial munitions to help Kyiv push through Russian lines in its gruelling counteroffensive.

Depleted uranium is a byproduct of the uranium enrichment process needed to create nuclear weapons. The rounds retain some radioactive properties, but they can’t generate a nuclear reaction like a nuclear weapon would, RAND nuclear expert and policy researcher Edward Geist said.

When Britain announced in March it was sending Ukraine the depleted uranium rounds, Russia falsely claimed they have nuclear components and warned that their use would open the door to further escalation. 

A Russia's foreign mininstry spokeswoman tweeted that many people who have been exposed to depleted uranium have gone on to develop cancers.

The shells will be used to arm the 31 M1A1 Abrams tanks the US plans to deliver to Ukraine in the fall.

Such armour-piercing rounds were developed by the US during the Cold War to destroy Soviet tanks, including the same T-72 tanks that Ukraine now faces in its counteroffensive.

In March, Putin warned that Moscow would "respond accordingly, given that the collective West is starting to use weapons with a nuclear component," with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying the munitions were "a step toward accelerating escalation."

The decision comes just months after the US got widespread criticism for providing cluster munitions to Kyiv.

More Russian strikes on Ukrainian port city on the Danube

Russia launched a fourth day of air attacks on the Ukrainian port city of Izmail, located on the Danube river which partly marks the border with Romania.

Oleh Kiper, the regional Governor of Odesa, said infrastructure was damaged in the attack, including grain silos, and one person was injured.

The Ukrainian Kyiv Post newspaper published photos of the aftermath of the attack.


Blinken in Kyiv to deliver American aid

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Kyiv on Wednesday, marking his fourth visit to the war-torn country this time with €932 million in new American funding including military and humanitarian aid. 

Blinken's visit was aimed at assessing Ukraine's 3-month-old counteroffensive and signalling continued US support as some Western allies express worries about Kyiv's slow progress against invading Russian forces. Blinken said the new aid "will help sustain it and build further momentum."

He said the new military assistance would be bolstered by the arrival of US Abrams tanks in the fall and the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets to complement training in Europe.

About €163 million of the total is in the form of weaponry to be provided from Pentagon stockpiles and another €93 million is in the form of grants to allow Ukrainians to purchase additional arms and equipment, according to the US State Department.

"We want to make sure that Ukraine has what it needs, not only to succeed in the counteroffensive but has what it needs for the long-term, to make sure that it has a strong deterrent," Blinken said. 


The package also includes a previously announced €5.03 million transfer to Ukraine of frozen Russian oligarch assets.

The aid announced by Blinken comes from money previously approved by Congress. President Joe Biden has requested another €19.6 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine for the final months of 2023, but it’s not clear how much - if any - will be approved.

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