Drones destroyed over Russia’s Kaluga region, says Moscow

Russia’s defence ministry said Wednesday it shot down three Ukrainian drones southwest of Moscow, the latest in a surge of aerial attacks near the capital, AFP reports.

Ukraine launched the attack at 5:00 am using “three unmanned aerial vehicles on objects in the Kaluga region”, the ministry said on Telegram.

“All UAVs were detected and destroyed in a timely manner by Russian air defence systems.”

Kaluga’s governor said the drones were shot down in the south of the region, a few hundred kilometres southwest of Moscow.

“There are no consequences for people and infrastructure,” Vladislav Shapsha said on Telegram.

The air attack is at least the fifth this month over the Kaluga region that Russia says it has thwarted.

Reuters: The US is pushing Iran to stop selling armed drones to Russia as part of discussions on a broader unwritten understanding between Washington and Tehran to de-escalate tensions, the Financial Times reports today, citing people briefed on the matter.

The US is pressing Iran to stop selling armed drones to Russia, which Moscow is using in the war in Ukraine, as well as spare parts for the unmanned aircraft, the report said, citing an Iranian official and another person familiar with the talks.

The White House and Iran’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The news comes as Washington and Iran are trying to ease tensions and revive broader talks over Iran’s nuclear program. US secretary of state Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that he would welcome any Iranian steps to de-escalate its “growing nuclear threat.”

These discussions have taken place alongside the negotiations on a prisoner exchange deal last week, the newspaper said. Iran allowed four detained U.S. citizens to move into house arrest from Tehran’s Evin prison while a fifth was already under home confinement.

Last week, sources told Reuters that Iran may free five detained U.S. citizens as part of a deal to unfreeze $6bn in Iranian funds in South Korea.

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Russia’s defence ministry said Wednesday it shot down three Ukrainian drones southwest of Moscow, the latest in a surge of aerial attacks near the capital, AFP reports.

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Ukraine launched the attack at 5:00 am using “three unmanned aerial vehicles on objects in the Kaluga region”, the ministry said on Telegram.

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“All UAVs were detected and destroyed in a timely manner by Russian air defence systems.”

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Kaluga’s governor said the drones were shot down in the south of the region, a few hundred kilometres southwest of Moscow.

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“There are no consequences for people and infrastructure,” Vladislav Shapsha said on Telegram.

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The air attack is at least the fifth this month over the Kaluga region that Russia says it has thwarted.

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Welcome back to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. This is Helen Sullivan with the latest.

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Our top story this morning: Russia’s air defence systems destroyed three Ukrainian drones early on Wednesday over the Kaluga region, the Russian defence ministry said.

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Meanwhile the US is pushing Iran to stop selling armed drones to Russia as part of discussions on a broader “unwritten understanding” between Washington and Tehran, the Financial Times reports today, citing people briefed on the matter.

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Elsewhere:

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    n

  • Three people were killed, several people were wounded and buildings were damaged in a large-scale air-attack on Ukraine’s western region of Lviv and the north-western region of Volyn. “Many missiles were shot down, but there were also hits in Lviv,” city mayor Andriy Sadovyi said, adding that orders were given to evacuate at least one burning apartment building. The barrage came just hours before top Russian military officials and their counterparts from allied countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa gathered outside Moscow for a security conference.

  • n

  • The Bank of Russia raised its key rate to 12% from 8.5%. The statement announcing the increase did not mention the rouble, which dropped to its lowest level in nearly 17 months on Monday. The Russian currency was boosted by the central bank’s move.

  • n

  • Russia fined social media site Reddit for the first time for not deleting “banned content” that it said contained “fake” information about Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, RIA reported, citing a Moscow court. Reddit joins a list of sites under scrutiny in Russia for failing to remove content that Moscow deems illegal, including Wikimedia, streaming service Twitch, and Google.

  • n

  • Three Bulgarian nationals suspected of spying for Russia while living in the UK have been arrested and charged, police have said. The defendants were among five people detained in February after a long-running counter-terrorism investigation. Three of those were then charged with possession of false identity documents, according to the Metropolitan police, which is responsible for espionage cases.

  • n

  • Andriy Yermak, head of the office of the president of Ukraine, said Russian athletes should be banned from participating in international competitions after Russian strikes destroyed a sports facility in Dnipro. Kira Rudik, a Ukrainian MP and the leader of the liberal Golos party, also said Ukraine will boycott the Olympic Games if Russia and Belarus participate in the competition.

  • n

  • Mali’s military leader Assimi Goita said on Tuesday that he had spoken on the phone to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, about the coup in Niger. Putin “stressed the importance of a peaceful resolution of the situation for a more stable Sahel,” Mali’s interim president, Assimi Goita, said on Twitter. The Kremlin said the call was initiated by Mali. The statement added: “The parties specifically focused on the current situation in the Sahara-Sahel region and emphasised, in particular, the importance of settling the situation in the Republic of Niger solely through peaceful political and diplomatic means.”

  • n

  • The US said that Russia would be violating UN resolutions if it reaches an arms deal with North Korea, after the two countries’ leaders called for greater cooperation. State department spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters: “Any kind of security cooperation or arms deal between North Korea and Russia would certainly violate a series of UN security council resolutions.”

  • n

  • Sweden’s government said Tuesday that it would donate to Ukraine ammunition and spare parts for previously donated weapon systems worth over $300m (£240m). Speaking at press conference, defence minister Pal Jonson said the military aid package, Sweden’s 13th to Ukraine, would include ammunition and spare parts valued at about 3.4bn kronor ($313m/£250m).

  • n

  • The Ukrainian government is to build new fortifications and military infrastructure in northeast regions that border Russia and Belarus at a cost of nearly $35m, prime minister Denys Shmyhal said on Tuesday.

  • n

  • Ukrainian president Zelenskiy visited the south-eastern region of Zaporizhzhia and met troops fighting in the counteroffensive against Russian forces, the president’s office said on Tuesday. Zelenskiy was shown in a video with senior Ukrainian soldiers examining a battlefield map at what the president’s office said was the frontline command point of the 46th separate airmobile brigade, near the town of Orikhiv.

  • n

  • Russia and North Korea on Tuesday advocated closer collaboration including in the defence sector. Moscow and Pyongyang have drawn closer since the Kremlin deployed troops to Ukraine and commenced large-scale hostilities last year, according to AFP.

  • n

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Key events

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US pressing Iran to halt drone sales – report

Reuters: The US is pushing Iran to stop selling armed drones to Russia as part of discussions on a broader unwritten understanding between Washington and Tehran to de-escalate tensions, the Financial Times reports today, citing people briefed on the matter.

The US is pressing Iran to stop selling armed drones to Russia, which Moscow is using in the war in Ukraine, as well as spare parts for the unmanned aircraft, the report said, citing an Iranian official and another person familiar with the talks.

The White House and Iran’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The news comes as Washington and Iran are trying to ease tensions and revive broader talks over Iran’s nuclear program. US secretary of state Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that he would welcome any Iranian steps to de-escalate its “growing nuclear threat.”

These discussions have taken place alongside the negotiations on a prisoner exchange deal last week, the newspaper said. Iran allowed four detained U.S. citizens to move into house arrest from Tehran’s Evin prison while a fifth was already under home confinement.

Last week, sources told Reuters that Iran may free five detained U.S. citizens as part of a deal to unfreeze $6bn in Iranian funds in South Korea.

Drones destroyed over Russia’s Kaluga region, says Moscow

Russia’s defence ministry said Wednesday it shot down three Ukrainian drones southwest of Moscow, the latest in a surge of aerial attacks near the capital, AFP reports.

Ukraine launched the attack at 5:00 am using “three unmanned aerial vehicles on objects in the Kaluga region”, the ministry said on Telegram.

“All UAVs were detected and destroyed in a timely manner by Russian air defence systems.”

Kaluga’s governor said the drones were shot down in the south of the region, a few hundred kilometres southwest of Moscow.

“There are no consequences for people and infrastructure,” Vladislav Shapsha said on Telegram.

The air attack is at least the fifth this month over the Kaluga region that Russia says it has thwarted.

Opening summary

Welcome back to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. This is Helen Sullivan with the latest.

Our top story this morning: Russia’s air defence systems destroyed three Ukrainian drones early on Wednesday over the Kaluga region, the Russian defence ministry said.

Meanwhile the US is pushing Iran to stop selling armed drones to Russia as part of discussions on a broader “unwritten understanding” between Washington and Tehran, the Financial Times reports today, citing people briefed on the matter.

Elsewhere:

  • Three people were killed, several people were wounded and buildings were damaged in a large-scale air-attack on Ukraine’s western region of Lviv and the north-western region of Volyn. “Many missiles were shot down, but there were also hits in Lviv,” city mayor Andriy Sadovyi said, adding that orders were given to evacuate at least one burning apartment building. The barrage came just hours before top Russian military officials and their counterparts from allied countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa gathered outside Moscow for a security conference.

  • The Bank of Russia raised its key rate to 12% from 8.5%. The statement announcing the increase did not mention the rouble, which dropped to its lowest level in nearly 17 months on Monday. The Russian currency was boosted by the central bank’s move.

  • Russia fined social media site Reddit for the first time for not deleting “banned content” that it said contained “fake” information about Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, RIA reported, citing a Moscow court. Reddit joins a list of sites under scrutiny in Russia for failing to remove content that Moscow deems illegal, including Wikimedia, streaming service Twitch, and Google.

  • Three Bulgarian nationals suspected of spying for Russia while living in the UK have been arrested and charged, police have said. The defendants were among five people detained in February after a long-running counter-terrorism investigation. Three of those were then charged with possession of false identity documents, according to the Metropolitan police, which is responsible for espionage cases.

  • Andriy Yermak, head of the office of the president of Ukraine, said Russian athletes should be banned from participating in international competitions after Russian strikes destroyed a sports facility in Dnipro. Kira Rudik, a Ukrainian MP and the leader of the liberal Golos party, also said Ukraine will boycott the Olympic Games if Russia and Belarus participate in the competition.

  • Mali’s military leader Assimi Goita said on Tuesday that he had spoken on the phone to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, about the coup in Niger. Putin “stressed the importance of a peaceful resolution of the situation for a more stable Sahel,” Mali’s interim president, Assimi Goita, said on Twitter. The Kremlin said the call was initiated by Mali. The statement added: “The parties specifically focused on the current situation in the Sahara-Sahel region and emphasised, in particular, the importance of settling the situation in the Republic of Niger solely through peaceful political and diplomatic means.”

  • The US said that Russia would be violating UN resolutions if it reaches an arms deal with North Korea, after the two countries’ leaders called for greater cooperation. State department spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters: “Any kind of security cooperation or arms deal between North Korea and Russia would certainly violate a series of UN security council resolutions.”

  • Sweden’s government said Tuesday that it would donate to Ukraine ammunition and spare parts for previously donated weapon systems worth over $300m (£240m). Speaking at press conference, defence minister Pal Jonson said the military aid package, Sweden’s 13th to Ukraine, would include ammunition and spare parts valued at about 3.4bn kronor ($313m/£250m).

  • The Ukrainian government is to build new fortifications and military infrastructure in northeast regions that border Russia and Belarus at a cost of nearly $35m, prime minister Denys Shmyhal said on Tuesday.

  • Ukrainian president Zelenskiy visited the south-eastern region of Zaporizhzhia and met troops fighting in the counteroffensive against Russian forces, the president’s office said on Tuesday. Zelenskiy was shown in a video with senior Ukrainian soldiers examining a battlefield map at what the president’s office said was the frontline command point of the 46th separate airmobile brigade, near the town of Orikhiv.

  • Russia and North Korea on Tuesday advocated closer collaboration including in the defence sector. Moscow and Pyongyang have drawn closer since the Kremlin deployed troops to Ukraine and commenced large-scale hostilities last year, according to AFP.

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