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Russians say recent Ukrainian attacks have killed at least 28 civilians

RUSSIAN officials in Kherson and Lugansk said today that Ukrainian attacks over the last few days had killed at least 28 civilians.

This came as Russia and Ukraine continued to exchange drone attacks on Saturday.

A Ukrainian attack on Friday on the small town of Sadove in the Kherson region killed 22 and wounded 15 people, Russia’s governor Vladimir Saldo said.

The Tass news agency reported Governor Saldo as saying that Ukrainian forces first struck the town with a French-made guided bomb, then attacked again with a United States-supplied Himars missile. 

He said that Ukrainian forces had “deliberately made a repeat strike to create greater numbers of casualties” when “residents of nearby houses ran out to help the injured.”

Public events were cancelled on both Sunday and Monday after Saturday had been declared a day of mourning in Kherson.

Further east, Leonid Pasechnik, the governor in Lugansk region, said on Saturday that two more bodies had been pulled from the rubble following Friday’s Ukrainian missile attack on the regional capital, also called Lugansk. 

The Interfax news agency reported regional authorities as saying this brought the death toll to six. 

Governor Pasechnik also said that 60 people were wounded in the attack.

Ukraine did not comment on either assault.

Meanwhile, drone attacks between Russia and Ukraine continued.

Ukraine launched a barrage of drones across Russian territory overnight on Friday, Russia’s Defence Ministry said on Saturday. 

Twenty-five drones were reportedly destroyed over Russia’s southern Kuban and Astrakhan regions, the western Tula region, and the Crimean peninsula.

On Saturday morning, officials said that air defences shot down Ukrainian drones over the North Ossetia region in the north Caucasus, some 560 miles east of the front line in the Zaporizhzhia region.

Russia’s Ministry of Defence said that one drone had been destroyed, whereas regional Governor Sergei Menyailo reported three downed drones over the region. 

Ukrainian air defence overnight shot down nine out of 13 Russian drones over the central Poltava region, south-eastern Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions, and the Kharkiv region in the north-east, Ukraine’s air force said on Saturday.

Dnipropetrovsk regional Governor Serhiy Lysak said that the overnight drone attack damaged commercial and residential buildings.

The weekend exchange of fire comes after the United States and Germany recently authorised Ukraine to hit some targets on Russian soil with the long-range weapons they are supplying to Kiev. 

Ukraine has already used US weapons to strike inside Russia after approval from President Joe Biden for US arms to be used for the limited purpose of defending Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.

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