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MOSCOW: Russia said Sunday it had downed Ukrainian drones over five regions, including Moscow, as well as two Ukrainian missiles over the Azov Sea, a day after a large-scale Russian drone attack on Kyiv.

Russia and Ukraine have hit each other with drones for months, as Moscow’s offensive drags on in to a 22nd month, with little significant movement on the front, despite fierce fighting.

Russia said the drones hit the Moscow region, other regions near the capital as well as regions bordering Ukraine.

Russia says downed 16 Ukrainian drones in south, Crimea

“Air defence destroyed nine drones over the territory of the Moscow, Tula, Kaluga and Bryansk regions,” Russia’s defence ministry said early on Sunday.

It later said that another four Ukrainian drones were downed over the Bryansk region, which borders Ukraine, as well as the southwestern Smolensk region and the Tula region, which lies north of Moscow.

The attacks came a day after Ukraine said Russia had launched 75 Iranian-made Shahed drones, mostly aimed at Kyiv, in what it said was a “record” since Moscow’s offensive last year.

Ukraine has upped attacks on Russia since launching its counteroffensive this summer, and has hit regions close to fighting zones as well as further inland into Russia, including Moscow itself.

The Russian army also said Sunday it had downed two Ukrainian missiles over the Azov Sea that it said were headed for Russia.

Russia controls the Ukrainian Azov Sea coast, which fell to Moscow early in its offensive last year. Local authorities in the affected regions did not report casualties.

“I call on refraining to share photographs or videos of the drones on social media,” the Smolensk governor Vasily Anokhin wrote on Telegram, adding that emergency services were working in areas that were hit.

Smolensk region, which borders Belarus, has been mostly spared from drone attacks. On the battlefield, fighting has now focused around the industrial hub of Avdiivka, which appears almost encircled by Russian forces.

The fall of Avdiivka — a symbol of Ukrainian resistance since 2014 — would be a significant loss for Kyiv. Ukraine, meanwhile, reported Russian attacks in the south and east of the country.

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