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Russia Says Downed 9 Ukrainian Drones Near Moscow

Air defense systems. Russian Defense Ministry

Russia said Thursday that its air defense systems had downed nine Ukrainian drones headed towards the capital, hours ahead of a highly anticipated news conference from President Vladimir Putin.

The reported attack came hours before Putin will hold his first end-of-year conference since launching the Ukraine offensive in February 2022, and a day after a Russian missile attack wounded dozens in Kyiv.

"On-duty air defense units destroyed and intercepted nine Ukrainian UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) over the territory of the Kaluga and Moscow regions," the Defense Ministry said in a statement, blaming Kyiv for the attack.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said one of the drones was shot down near Naro-Fominsk, a town southwest of the Russian capital.

"According to preliminary data, there was no damage or casualties at the site where the debris fell," Sobyanin said on Telegram.

He said emergency services were working at the site.

Ukraine has hit Russia with regular drone attacks since the summer, when it launched a fresh push to regain territory lost to Moscow.

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