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Ukraine shoots down 15 out of 17 Iranian-made Shahed drones deployed by Russia

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Ukrainian defenses shot down 15 Russian drones during an overnight attack, Kyiv’s air force said Saturday.

It said 17 Iranian-made Shahed drones were used in the aerial assault, and did not specify what happened to the other two.

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Russian forces “attacked from the north with ‘Shahed-136/131’ attack UAVs. A total of 17 attack drones were launched from the Kursk region,” the Ukrainian force said on Telegram.

It added that air defenses were activated in “northern and central, as well as in the western regions”.

“15 enemy drones were destroyed by the forces and means of the Air Force in cooperation with the air defense systems of other components of the Defense Forces of Ukraine.”

Both sides in the conflict -- which started in February 2022 -- have recently reported regular drone incursions by air and sea, as Ukraine enacts a counteroffensive aimed at reclaiming Russian-held territory.

Moscow has ramped up attacks on Ukraine’s port infrastructure in the Black Sea and the Danube, since the scrapping of a deal that had allowed the safe export grain through the shipping hub.

On Friday, Russia said its forces had destroyed Ukrainian drones targeting Moscow and its Black Sea Fleet.

On the front lines, Ukrainian forces crossed into the Russian-occupied east bank of Kherson region and took positions there, the region’s Russian-installed governor confirmed.

On Friday, the United States told Denmark and the Netherlands they can hand Ukraine their F-16 fighter jets when the country’s pilots are trained to use them, a move welcomed as “great news” by Ukraine’s Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov.

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