Ukraine destroys Russian air defence system in overnight attack on Crimea

Kyiv said it also destroyed 17 out of 22 Russian drones

A burning fuel tank in Crimea after it was hit by a drone in April. AP
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Ukraine destroyed a Russian air defence system in Crimea in an overnight attack, as Moscow said its air defences shot down 11 drones over the annexed territory.

The air defence system was put out of action in drone and missile strikes conducted by the Security Service of Ukraine and navy, Kyiv said.

Ukraine said it also destroyed 17 out of 22 drones, as a Russian artillery attack in the south killed a child.

Ukraine's Prosecutor General's office said a six-year-old boy was killed and four other people, including his 13-year-old brother, were wounded by Russian shelling in the village of Novodmytrivka in the Kherson region.

"Enemy shells hit a private house and its territory," it said in a statement on Telegram.

Ukraine's air force said it had shot down drones in several regions in Ukraine's south and north.

"On the night of September 14, 2023, from 9pm to 2.30am the Russian invaders attacked Ukraine with several groups of Shahed-136/131 type [drones] from three directions," it said in a post on Telegram.

Dnipropetrovsk region governor Serhiy Lysak said several buildings had been damaged by drones. Another part of the region was hit overnight by artillery and rockets, he said.

Having initially tried to pummel Ukrainian targets with missiles, Russia has this year increasingly turned to the Shahed, a cheap Iranian kamikaze drone which is more expendable and can confuse air defences with its smaller size and low speed.

But Ukraine in recent months has also begun to use drones to attack Russian territory or targets on Ukraine-annexed land.

Russia said its air defences had shot down 11 attack drones overnight over Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula seized by Russia in 2014.

Meanwhile, the governor of Russia's Kursk region said Ukrainian shelling killed one man and damaged power supply lines.

Governor Roman Starovoit said the man was killed after shelling in the town of Tetkino on the Russia-Ukraine border and that 10 shells had been recorded striking the village of Gordeevka. No casualties were recorded there, he said.

Thursday night’s attacks came a day after Ukraine struck a submarine and several other targets in the city of Sevastopol early on Wednesday in a strike reportedly carried out by Storm Shadow cruise missiles.

Writing for the Spectator magazine on Thursday, former British prime minister Boris Johnson said the UK should more urgently provide weapons requested by Kyiv.

He said it would be a “relatively trivial outlay for extraordinary potential reward” to provide more military support which would help “finish the job”.

“Why are we always so slow?

“How can we look these men in the eye, and explain the delay? Throughout this war we have underestimated the Ukrainians and overestimated Putin, and we are doing the same today.”

“The story of Ukraine will be of lion-hearted Ukrainian troops finally betrayed by western loss of nerve,” he said.

Updated: September 14, 2023, 10:18 AM