Two dead in Belgorod region as Ukraine launches over 100 drones at Russian targets

A mother and child were reportedly killed in a Ukrainian drone strike on Russia’s western Belgorod region in the early hours of Friday morning as Russia’s Defence Ministry reported downing more than 100 Ukrainian drones overnight in what may represent the largest Ukrainian drone strike of the war so far.

Belgorod region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said that the woman had died at the scene after a kamikaze drone hit a car in which she was travelling in the village of Oktyabrsky between Belgorod and the Ukrainian border.

The woman’s four-year-old son, his father, and the driver of the car were taken by passing vehicles to a hospital in Belgorod, Gladkov said, where the boy later died from his injuries.

The deaths came as Russia’s Defence Ministry reported a mass Ukrainian drone strike on annexed Crimea and southern Russia, in which it claimed to have intercepted 51 drones over the annexed Crimean peninsula and another 44 over the neighbouring Krasnodar region of southern Russia.

The ministry also said that it had downed six drones over the Belgorod region and one over the adjoining Kursk region, as well as destroying six unmanned Ukrainian vessels in the Black Sea.

Mikhail Razozhayev, the Russian-installed governor of Crimea’s largest city Sevastopol, said that much of the city had been left without electricity on Friday morning after a local power station was damaged by falling drone debris, forcing schools and nurseries in the city to close for the day while repairs to the power station were carried out.

Authorities in the Krasnodar region said that a fire had broken out at an oil refinery in the city of Tuapse after a drone fell on the facility, the second time this year that drones have successfully targeted the facility, which is Russian oil giant Rosneft’s largest refinery on the Black Sea.

Kremlin-affiliated Telegram channel Mash reported that an oil depot and port infrastructure in the Black Sea city of Novorossiysk, to where much of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was moved last year after being deemed too vulnerable in annexed Crimea, had also come under attack.

Krasnodar region Governor Veniamin Kondratyev accused Ukraine of having “unsuccessfully attempted to attack civilian targets” in Novorossiysk, and asked the city’s residents to “remain calm and refrain from posting videos of our air defence operations on social media” amid reports that people in the city had been temporarily ordered to stay indoors following the attack.

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