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MOSCOW: Russia’s military shot down 19 Ukrainian drones over four different regions and the Black Sea overnight, the defence ministry said on Friday.

“An attempt by the Kyiv regime to commit a terrorist attack with 19 aerial drones against sites on Russian territory has been prevented,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Air defence systems intercepted and destroyed drones in the regions of Kursk (2), Bryansk (5), Oryol (4), Krasnodar (2) and over the Black Sea (6),” it said.

The drones in Oryol, some 300 kilometres southwest of Moscow were aimed at energy infrastructure, regional governor Andrei Klychkov wrote on Telegram.

In Krasnodar, rescue services said a fire erupted overnight at an oil refinery in Ilsky, without specifying if the blaze was caused by the drone attack.

Russia says it downs seven Ukraine-launched drones over Belgorod region

In recent months, Ukraine has upped drone attacks against Russian territory, mainly targeting border regions, but also the capital Moscow and the northern city of Saint Petersburg.

The deadliest such attack occurred in the city of Belgorod on December 30, when 25 people were killed, some 100 wounded and several hundred others evacuated.

Ukraine has been under persistent aerial bombardment by Russian forces for nearly two years and has appealed to allies in the West to bolster its defensive systems. Thousands of people are estimated to have died in the bombings.

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