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Russia Launches Two-Hour Drone Attack Over Kyiv

Russia launched about three dozen drones over Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, Sunday. The early-morning attack lasted about two hours, with debris falling over the city.

Meanwhile, the British Defense Ministry said Sunday Russia’s Pskov oblast, near the Estonian border, has organized “volunteer security patrols” to bring a stop to drone attacks against Kresty Air Base.

The ministry said, due to the limited range of quadcopter drones, the attacks on Kresty were almost certainly launched from Russia. The volunteer patrols will “likely” serve as a deterrence, according to the ministry.

The use of volunteers indicates that it is “highly likely” that there is a shortage of trained security personnel within Russia,” the ministry said.

Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russian forces will continue in the coming months, regardless of inclement weather when fighting would be harder to conduct, Ukrainian intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov said Saturday.

"Combat actions will continue in one way or another. In the cold, wet and mud, it is more difficult to fight. Fighting will continue. The counteroffensive will continue," Budanov said.

Ukraine’s much-vaunted counteroffensive has seen some success in the south where Ukrainian forces have retaken a dozen villages over the past three months.

Ukraine’s armed forces are making “gradual tactical advances” against Russia’s defensive line east of the town of Robotyne, the British ministry said Saturday in its daily intelligence update on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But Ukraine’s military operation has been slower than anticipated because of hurdles that include vast minefields and heavily entrenched Russian forces.

The slow progress of the counteroffensive has sparked concerns among Kyiv's supporters that the West could face an uphill battle to maintain its support and the military aid needed to keep Ukraine battling at the same intensity level.

Ukraine’s advances in the southeastern Zaporizhzhia region, now centered around Robotyne and Verbove, are seen as a crucial part of an operation that seeks to split Russia's occupying forces in half in the south but remains far from that goal.

"Our counteroffensive is happening in several directions," Budanov said, acknowledging that progress had been slower than he wanted and describing the situation as difficult.

Apart from the huge concentration of Russian mines, he identified the large number of small Russian "kamikadze" drones as a key factor in slowing Ukraine’s progress so far.

Broken windows are seen near a building damaged during a Russian drone strike in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sept. 10, 2023.
Broken windows are seen near a building damaged during a Russian drone strike in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sept. 10, 2023.

Russian air defense says it shot down three Ukrainian drones over Crimea on Saturday, one in the northwest and two in the west of the peninsula, Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-installed head of the local administration, said on a post on Telegram.

Reuters could not verify the claims, and there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

G20 summit

The leaders of the world’s 20 wealthiest countries adopted a consensus declaration Saturday at the G20 summit, calling on all states to refrain from the use of force to seize territory but stopped short of condemning Russia for its war on Ukraine.

Despite the consensus declaration, the group remains deeply divided over the war. Western nations were pushing for a strong denunciation of Russia in the Leaders' Declaration, while other countries demanded a focus on broader economic issues.

On the war in Ukraine, the declaration says that all states must refrain from threats or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any state. It also called the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons “inadmissible” and urged for peaceful resolution of conflicts using diplomacy and dialog.

The G20 noted “different views and assessments of the situation," regarding the war in Ukraine.

They called on Russia and Ukraine to ensure immediate and unimpeded deliveries of grain, foodstuffs, and fertilizers from Russia and Ukraine for the sake of global food and energy security and asked for the end of military destruction or other attacks on relevant infrastructure.

VOA White House Correspondent Anita Powell contributed to this story.