Ukrainian air defences shot down dozens of drones launched by Russia in overnight attacks, the military said Thursday. The news comes after military officials said Wednesday that Kyiv's troops had repelled "intense enemy attacks" near the eastern villages of Klishchiivka and Andriivka, which they had recaptured earlier this month. Follow our live blog for the latest developments on the war in Ukraine. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).
7:21am: Ukrainian air defences destroy more than 30 drones launched by Russia overnight
Russia launched a "massive" drone attack overnight and that more than 30 Russian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) had been destroyed, the Ukrainian military said on Thursday.
UAVs were intercepted over Black Sea coastal regions and also further inland, said Nataliya Gumenyuk, a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian southern military command.
Russia "does not stop the pressure and searching for new tactics: namely, with the use of mass attacks", Gumenyuk said on the Telegram messaging platform.
"Tonight, several groups of strike UAVs were launched ... air defence worked along almost the entire southern direction - in Odesa, Mykolaiv regions. Also, much higher north - the enemy aimed its attacks on central Ukraine," she said.
"The consequences of the attack are being clarified now, because it was indeed a massive one.
"However, the air defence work was quite effective. Over 30 UAVs were destroyed."
Since July, when Moscow pulled out of a UN-brokered deal allowing safe grain shipments via the Black Sea, Russia has ramped up attacks on Ukraine's grain-exporting infrastructure in the southern Odesa and Mykolaiv regions.
1:02am: Ukrainian troops repel Russian attacks on eastern front, say military officials
Ukrainian troops held off determined attacks on Wednesday by Russian forces trying to regain lost positions on the eastern front, military officials said, while analysts suggested Kyiv's forces were also making progress in the southern theatre.
The Ukrainian military launched its counteroffensive in June intending to recoup ground in the east and in the past two weeks announced the capture of two key villages, Andriivka and Klishchiivka, near the war-shattered city of Bakhmut.
Ilia Yevlash, a spokesperson for Ukraine's eastern group of forces, told national television: "We continue to repel intense enemy attacks near Klishchiivka and Andriivka. The enemy is still storming these positions with the hope of recapturing lost positions, but without success."
Key developments from Wednesday, September 27:
Talks with Ukraine about grain imports are going in a good direction, the Polish agriculture minister said on Wednesday, after a dispute between the two countries over Warsaw's decision to extend a ban.
Russian state media once again broadcast undated footage of Black Sea Fleet commander Viktor Sokolov, whom Kyiv claimed to have killed in a missile attack targeting the fleet's headquarters in annexed Crimea. Although it is impossible to tell when the footage was recorded, its broadcast is likely meant to suggest that the naval commander is still alive.
Several hundred members of Russia's Wagner private mercenary group have returned to eastern Ukraine to fight but are not having a significant impact on the battlefield, a Ukrainian military spokesperson said on Wednesday. "We have recorded the presence of a maximum of several hundred fighters of the former Wagner PMC (private military company)," said Serhiy Cherevatyi, spokesperson for the eastern military command. He added that Wagner fighters were scattered in different places and were not part of a single unit.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP, and Reuters)