MOSCOW: A Ukrainian drone struck a family driving near the border in Russia’s Belgorod region on Friday, killing a mother and her four-year-old son, the region’s governor said.

The attack came as Kyiv launched a wave of drones at the annexed Crimean peninsula and Russia’s southern regions overnight, in one of its largest aerial offensives in weeks.

“In the village of Oktyabrsky, a kamikaze drone attacked a car carrying a driver and three passengers: a mum, dad and a child,” Belgorod region governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

“As a result of the explosion, the woman died on the spot from her wounds. The child was in critical condition. Doctors did everything possible to save him,” but the four-year-old died of his injuries in hospital, he added.

The father was injured but “is in shock” and refused medical help, while the driver of the car was treated for shrapnel wounds to his hands, he added.

Another drone attack caused a fire at a gas station in Bessonovka village, but the flames were quickly put out, according to the governor.

Russia said it had intercepted or destroyed more than 100 Ukrainian drones in the south of the country and over annexed Crimea and the Black Sea overnight.

Fifty-one drones were destroyed over Crimea, 44 over the Krasnodar region, six over the Belgorod region, six over the Black Sea and one over the Kursk region, its defence ministry said.

Russia says it shot down four US-made long range missiles over Crimea

Ukraine did not immediately comment but denies targeting civilians.

The drone wave comes as Russian forces advance along the front line, making their biggest territorial gains in 18 months as Ukraine struggles with ammunition and manpower shortages.

Ukraine has evacuated almost 9,000 civilians from its north east since Russian forces stormed across the border last week, advancing towards Vovchansk and nearby villages.

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Karim Abbasi May 17, 2024 11:55am
why don't they count innocent Ukrainian children and women killed by ballistic missiles, drones and bombs dropped since February 2022?
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Karim Abbasi May 17, 2024 11:56am
Crimea is the territory of Ukraine, isn't it?
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