Ukrainian drone causes explosions in warehouse in Russia as war of attrition continues


KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A village in western Russia’s border region was evacuated Sunday following a series of explosions after debris from a downed Ukrainian drone sparked a fire in a nearby warehouse, local officials said.

Social media footage showed black smoke rising in the Voronezh region, while loud explosions were also heard.

Governor Aleksandr Gusev said falling wreckage caused the “explosion of explosive objects.” No casualties were reported, but residents of a nearby village in Podgorensky District were evacuated, he said. Roads were also closed with emergency services, military personnel and government officials working at the scene.

The Russian Defense Ministry did not comment on the attack during its morning briefing, but said air defense systems had destroyed a Ukrainian drone over the Belgorod region.

Authorities in Russia’s Krasnodar province said Saturday that a fire at an oil depot was also caused by falling drone debris. Russian emergency services said the fire had been extinguished early Sunday morning.

The strikes come after a Ukrainian military spokesman told The Associated Press on Thursday that Kiev troops had withdrawn from a district on the outskirts of Khasiv Yar, a strategically important city in Ukraine’s Donetsk region that has been reduced to rubble after a months-long Russian attack.

Russian troops have been trying to make gains in Ukraine’s industrial east for months, trying to drive its defenders into a war of attrition. In a joint investigation published Friday, independent Russian news outlets Meduza and Mediazona reported that Moscow’s forces were losing between 200 and 250 soldiers in Ukraine every day.

Military analysts say the fall of Khasiv Yar could also jeopardize key Ukrainian supply routes and threaten nearby cities, bringing Russia closer to its stated goal of seizing the entire Donetsk region.

Russia sent two ballistic missiles and 13 Shahed drones overnight Sunday, Ukrainian air force officials said. All were shot down, but the officials did not elaborate on the impact of the missiles.

Elsewhere in Ukraine, 14 people died after a bus collided with a truck, leaving only one survivor, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said Saturday night. Among the victims was a 6-year-old child.


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