‘Russian forces destroy 7 Ukrainian drones over Moscow and Crimea’

Russia has downed seven Ukrainian drones over Moscow and Crimea as Kiev increases attacks carried out by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) following its much-hyped counteroffensive on the ground.

In a statement on Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry said its forces shot down one Ukrainian drone over the outskirts of Moscow and six others over the Crimean peninsula.

At around 01:45 am local time (22:45 GMT on Saturday), one drone was intercepted over Moscow’s Istrinsky district, the Ministry said in a Telegram post.

“According to preliminary data, there was no damage or casualties at the site where the debris fell,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin wrote in a separate Telegram post.

“Emergency services specialists are working at the scene,” he said.

Two Ukrainian drones were also destroyed at 01:15 a.m. local time over the west coast of Crimea, with another four detected and destroyed over the peninsula between 01:45 and 02:20 a.m. local time, according to the Ministry.

Since Ukraine launched its counteroffensive in early June, Russia has weathered waves of drone attacks that have sporadically damaged buildings, including in the capital.

Russian officials deem such drone attacks as ineffective, saying they lack any military significance.

In the meantime, Russia has been increasingly successful in downing Ukrainian drones as Kiev ramps up its production of unmanned aircraft and unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) to bring an “army of drones” to the front lines of its counteroffensive against Russia, Ukrainian military officials and manufacturers told ABC News in rare interviews on the secretive program.

In this regard, a 32-year-old Ukrainian official, who has played a key role in the development of the country’s drone industry with help from Elon Musk, said last week that drone production will include artificial intelligence (AI) systems that can locate targets several kilometers away and guide drones to them and back even if external communications are disrupted by electronic warfare measures.

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