Ukraine says two killed in Russian strikes near frontline

Separately, Ukraine's air force said Saturday it shot down 29 of the 38 Iranian-made Shahed drones fired by Russia.

November 18, 2023 08:44 pm | Updated 08:44 pm IST - Kyiv, Ukraine

Firefighters work at the site where houses were damaged by a Russian drone strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine November 18, 2023.

Firefighters work at the site where houses were damaged by a Russian drone strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine November 18, 2023. | Photo Credit: VIA REUTERS

Ukraine said two first responders were killed and at least seven people injured in Russian rocket strikes on the southeastern region of Zaporizhzhia on Saturday.

The attacks came as Kyiv's air force said Russia fired 38 drones at its territory overnight -- the highest reported number in more than six weeks.

Ukrainian police said Russia fired a series of rocket strikes at the village of Komyshuvakha, close to the frontline in the Zaporizhzhia region, which Russia claimed to have annexed last year.

"As a result of the first two strikes, four local residents were injured and a fire broke out in a residential building," they said in a statement.

"When the police and rescuers arrived at the scene, Russians conducted another strike. Two emergency service workers were killed, and three more were injured."

Separately, Ukraine's air force said Saturday it shot down 29 of the 38 Iranian-made Shahed drones -- also known as "kamikaze drones" because they are packed with explosives to detonate upon reaching their targets -- fired by Russia.

According to its figures, that is the most drones launched by Russia in an overnight attack since September 30.

An energy facility was hit in the southern Odesa region, with the resulting fire quickly extinguished, Ukraine's emergency services said.

Russia's defence ministry said its forces had shot down 20 Ukrainian aerial drones over Russian-controlled parts of Ukraine, and seven naval drones in the Black Sea, off the annexed peninsula of Crimea.

Ukraine also said Saturday that its forces "continue to hold positions on the left (eastern) bank of the Dnipro river."

Ukrainian and Russian forces have been entrenched on opposite sides of the vast waterway in the southern Kherson region for more than a year, after Russia withdrew its troops from the western bank last November.

Ukrainian forces have staged multiple attempts to cross and hold positions on the Russian-controlled side -- with officials in Kyiv finally reporting a "successful" breakthrough last week.

"Our defenders are consolidating their positions and firing on the occupiers," the general staff said in a Saturday morning briefing on its operations on the eastern side of the river.

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