Russian air defense forces down Ukrainian drone over Crimea — Sevastopol Governor


© Gavriil Grigorov/TASS

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The reported incident happened after Kiev rejected a Christmas truce offer

A Ukrainian drone was destroyed near Sevastopol in Crimea, Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said on Saturday morning. His statement comes after reports of the continued shelling of cities in Donbass by Ukrainian troops. Earlier, Kiev rejected Moscow’s proposal for a temporary truce during Orthodox Christmas.

Writing on Telegram, Razvozhayev accused Kiev of trying to attack Sevastopol, which houses Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

Several areas of Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) were hit by Ukrainian rocket and artillery fire on Friday, according to the local authorities. They added that more than 100 projectiles were fired throughout the day.

Officials said the shelling continued on Saturday morning. In Gorlovka, a city to the northeast of Donetsk, a woman was wounded and two apartment blocks were damaged, they reported. Three houses were damaged in the village of Golmovsky, as well as a power line and gas pipeline.

Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the troops to observe a ceasefire from noon Friday to Saturday at midnight in order to allow Orthodox Christians, who make up the majority in Ukraine and Russia, to go to church and celebrate Christmas safely. Moscow urged Kiev to do the same, but the proposal was rejected.

On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that despite the compliance by Moscow’s forces with the truce, “the Kiev regime continued artillery strikes on settlements and positions of Russian troops.” It added that Russian forces suppressed several Ukrainian artillery positions that had been involved in shelling along the entire frontline.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky accused Moscow of planning to use the ceasefire to halt the offensive in Donbass and pull up additional soldiers and equipment to the frontline.

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