Russia and Ukraine Engage in Dueling Air Assaults Behind the Front Lines

Russia and Ukraine Engage in Dueling Air Assaults Behind the Front Lines

Russia and Ukraine targeted each other’s territory on Sunday with drone attacks and airstrikes that hit urban centers and energy facilities, as both sides look for ways to inflict damage beyond the battlefield.

The Russian military said it had shot down nearly 60 Ukrainian drones over the Krasnodar region of southwest Russia, which Ukraine has increasingly targeted in recent weeks because it is home to energy and military facilities supporting combat operations.

Local Russian officials said an oil refinery had been struck in the attack. A Ukrainian security official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive military matters, said Ukrainian drones had hit the refinery as well as a military airfield in the region. Russian officials did not comment on the reported strike on the airfield.

Ukrainian officials said Russia struck northeast Ukraine, including the city of Kharkiv, killing at least 10 civilians and wounding more than 20 people. Russia has not commented on the strikes, which could not be independently confirmed. Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, has been pounded by Russian missiles in recent months, in what military experts say is a Russian tactic intended to create panic and force residents to flee.

Strikes on logistical hubs and troop concentrations deep behind enemy lines have been a constant in this war. But it has become all the more important for Ukraine as it seeks to relieve troops who are struggling to contain Russian advances on the ground by disrupting Moscow’s military operations.

Since the fall, Russia has had the upper hand on the battlefield, allowing it to launch assaults on different parts of the more than 600-mile front line to probe and break through Ukrainian defenses. Most recently, it has opened a new front in Ukraine’s northeast, near Kharkiv, quickly capturing several settlements and forcing the Ukrainian army to redeploy units there from other battlefield hot spots.

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