Drones shot down as Ukraine and Russia exchange overnight salvoes


Ukraine and Russia both claim to have thwarted major drone attacks as a former NATO chief warned against world attention shifting from the ongoing conflict.

Kyiv said its military had destroyed eight of nine unmanned aircraft launched overnight by invading forces.

There were no immediate reports of damage or about where the remaining device had struck.

The situation on the ground in Ukraine

The attack comes a day after what officials described as Russia’s largest drone offensive of the war.

Ukraine has warned in recent weeks that Russia will target critical infrastructure in a winter aerial campaign, as it did last year.

Meanwhile, Moscow said it had shot down at least 20 drones over Russian territory, including the capital.

One person was injured in the city of Tula when an intercepted drone hit an apartment building, the region’s governor Alexei Dyumin said.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said: “A mass drone attack was attempted overnight.”

Russian media reported flights were delayed or cancelled at Moscow’s main airports due to the drone attack.

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Russia launches large-scale drone attack on Kyiv

Against this backdrop, former NATO secretary-general Lord Robertson of Port Ellen stressed the need for the international focus to “stay on Ukraine”, with the situation in Israel and Gaza dominating much of the news agenda.

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The Labour former defence secretary cautioned that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be emboldened to extend the attacks beyond Ukraine if foreign governments stop providing weaponry.

Lord Robertson, who led the military alliance between 1999 and 2003, welcomed the temporary ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict, but said: “I think it is inevitable that because we’re seeing the television from Gaza every day, that people are paying less attention to Ukraine, but that must change.

“We have got to keep the world’s attention focused on Ukraine because they are involved in a fight with Russia that has got huge implications for all of us as well.

“Vladimir Putin is not simply interested in subjugating Ukraine.

“He has got a much bigger agenda in the future, and if he succeeds in Ukraine, who knows where he is going to stop.”

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How Ukraine shoots down Russia’s drones

He added: “We cannot allow the Ukraine conflict to go down the attention span. That suits Vladimir Putin and nobody else.

“The fact is that most of his objectives have actually turned to dust. He wanted to stop NATO enlargement, and it is now bigger. He wanted to divide Europe and divide Europe from America, he failed in that respect.

“He wanted to take over the whole of Ukraine and now he is stuck in the Donbas. There’s a miserable failure there by the one man who made the decision to invade Ukraine.

“We have got to change the mind of that one man by staying absolutely united and making sure that Ukrainians get the weaponry and the ammunition they need, when they actually need it.

“That is the only way we’ll change Vladimir Putin’s mind. The stakes are enormously high because if Putin succeeds, he won’t stop at Ukraine.”

Lord Robertson warns ‘if Putin succeeds, he won’t stop at Ukraine’

Lord Robertson also called for a long-term solution to resolve the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He said: “I think gradually the countries in the region will need to come together to find a long-term solution so that the Israelis and the Palestinians can live in harmony together.

“The present conflict will go on and on for years unless there is a long-term solution.”

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