Russian drone strikes pound multiple Ukrainian regions, injuring civilians

Ukraine’s air defences managed to shoot down 19 of the armed drones, but several still struck civilian infrastructure, inflicting injuries and damage.

Russian forces unleashed a barrage of Iranian-made kamikaze drones across Ukraine overnight, striking targets in at least six regions and injuring civilians, Ukrainian officials said Wednesday.

Russia fired 21 Shahed-131/136 strike drones at Ukraine from bases in Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea, according to Ukraine’s Air Force. The drones targeted areas in the Kherson, Mykolaiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad, Khmelnytskyi and Lviv regions in the south, centre and west of the country.

Ukraine’s air defences managed to shoot down 19 of the armed drones, but several still struck civilian infrastructure, inflicting injuries and damage.

In the western Lviv region, authorities said five Shahed drones got through air defences. One struck a multi-story residential building in the town of Malekhiv, injuring a 70-year-old man. The drone also damaged an office building and shattered windows in six other structures nearby.

It was the latest in a string of Russian drone strikes using the Shahed loitering munitions supplied by Iran. The long-range suicide drones have allowed Moscow’s forces to strike deeper into Ukrainian territory with cheap, disposable weapon systems that have proven difficult to counter.

Elsewhere on the battlefield, Ukrainian forces continued their slow counteroffensive to liberate Russian-occupied areas in the east and south. While the attacks caused property damage, there were no immediate reports of more severe casualties from the drone strikes in other regions hit overnight.

But the incidents in Lviv and elsewhere highlighted the persistent threat Moscow’s bombardment with Iranian drones poses to civilian areas, even in western Ukraine far from the front lines. Kyiv has pleaded for more robust air defence systems from the West to help protect its cities.