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Ukraine war: ‘Notable progress’ made in south as Crimean bridge targeted by Kyiv drones

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Crimean bridge targeted again by Ukrainian drones, Moscow claims

Moscow claims to have shot down three Ukrainian naval drones in the Black Sea during the night from Friday to Saturday which were targeting the Crimean bridge.

Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine's military intelligence chief, pictured in February

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Ukrainian drones were destroyed around 2:20 a.m. Moscow time before reaching the bridge, built in the wake of the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

It’s not the first time an incident like this has been reported. On 12 August, two Ukrainian missile attacks are said to have been foiled above this strategic bridge in the Kerch Strait.

A previous offensive in July caused significant damage to the road section of the structure, which is also used to deliver military equipment to the Russian army fighting in Ukraine.

Before the most recent offensive, supposedly foiled by Moscow, Kyiv claimed a symbolic victory on Friday by claiming to have carried out its first drone attack this week from Russian territory.

They say, during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, Ukrainian drones targeted the airport in the city of Pskov, some 700 kilometres from Ukraine, in a region bordering Estonia and Latvia to the west and Belarus to the south.

Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov confirmed the incident via Telegram, saying, “The drones used to attack the Kresty air base in Pskov were launched from inside Russia”.

The Kremlin has yet to comment on this claim.

US: “Notable progress” made by Ukrainian forces in the south

The US government says Ukraine’s forces have made “notable progress” in their push against heavily fortified Russian positions in the south of the country.

John Kirby, the White House security spokesman, explained that those gains were made over the past 72 hours south of Zaporizhzhia.

Speaking to CNN, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba confirmed that Kyiv’s forces were advancing, but that “it’s a tough fight”.

Kirby said Kyiv itself had admitted that the push in the south was making slower progress than hoped.

Its aim is to split the Russian land corridor to Crimea.

Earlier this week, Ukraine’s military claimed to have captured the village of Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia region.

In the south of the country, Moscow is thought to have built up an elaborate system of trenches and tunnels all defended by minefields, alongside anti-tank concrete barriers and artillery positions.

In response, Kyiv has continued to urge Nato countries to provide them with tanks, warplanes and de-mining equipment – perhaps most notably US-made F-16 fighter jets.

Progress made in the Orikhiv axis

Ukrainian Forces have been continuing to take offensive action on the Orikhiv axis in southern Ukraine, with units said to have reached the first Russian main defensive line.

Russian forces, made up of the 58 Combined Arms Army and Russian Airborne Forces elements, are seeking to halt the Ukrainian counter-offensive whilst maintaining their own offensive on the northern axis around Kupiansk.

It’s thought that Russian forces are likely attempting to distract Ukraine from its counter-offensive by pushing Kyiv to divide its forces between Orikhiv and Kupiansk.

Russia has made modest gains near Kupiansk since this Ukrainian counter-offensive began in June. They are likely keen to capitalise on this progress by continuing to resource the axis.

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