Russia launches 15 drones, Ukraine's air defenses down 13 of them
Russia attacked Ukraine at night with 15 Shahed drones (Photo:REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)
Russia launched 15 Iranian-made Shahed-131 and Shahed-136 suicide drones in the early hours of March 6, with Ukrainian air defenses shooting down 13 of them, Ukraine’s Air Force Command reported later in the morning on Facebook.
There is no information about the fate of the other two drones. There were reports of explosions in several Ukrainian oblasts overnight, some of which were said to be from the operation of air defense missiles.
The air force said attack was carried out from the north, namely Russia's Bryansk Oblast. It was recently reported by Ukraine’s military that Russia had established a new launch site in the Russian Oblast, which borders Ukraine’s Chernihiv Oblast.
The air force said the new site was likely established to make it easier for Russia to attack the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. The closest part of Russian territory to the city of Kyiv is the southwest of Bryansk Oblast – a little more than 200 kilometers away.
Shahed-131 and Shahed-136 flying bombs have cruising speeds of 150 km/h and 200 km/h, meaning they could make the journey from their launch site to targets in Kyiv in an hour to an hour and 20 minutes.
According to the Ukrainian Air Force, Russia hopes the shorter flying time because of the closer launch site will make it more likely that more of the drones will evade air defenses and reach their targets.
The Iranian drones, dubbed “flying lawnmowers” in Ukraine due to their distinctive rotor engine sound, are relatively small and can fly low, making it more difficult to spot them on radar. During the day, they are even vulnerable to machine-gun fire from the ground, so Russia now launches them at Ukraine only at night.
The day before, four drones – likely Shaheds again – were shot down over Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.
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