Ukraine war updates: Russian Sukhoi bomber destroyed by air defenses


Sunday, 18 February 2024 (16:36 IST)
Ukraine's forces destroyed 12 Russia-launched attack drones overnight as well as one Kh-59 cruise missile and one Su-34 fighter-bomber, Ukraine's Air Force chief said on Sunday.
"I want to thank Air Force units for their successful combat work!" Mykola Oleshchuk wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
However, not all targets were intercepted. At least three people have been killed in Russian drone and missile attacks in eastern Ukraine, local leaders said.
Two bodies have been recovered so far from the rubble of a residential building in the city of Kramatorsk that was struck by a missile overnight, said Vadym Filashkin, the military governor of the Donetsk region, on Telegram.
Oleh Syniehubov, the head of the military administration in the neighboring Kharkiv region, reported one dead and five injured in an attack on a two-storey residential building in the front-line city of Kupiansk.
Earlier, Ukrainian troops in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk had been forced to retreat from the industrial city of Avdiivka. The Russian air force had been bombing Ukrainian positions on the front line with precision-guided bombs for days. 
Ukraine military says it repelled Russian offensive in south
Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian offensive on the southern front, the Ukrainian military said on Sunday. The news follows the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the devastated eastern town of Avdiivka.
"Defense forces in the Zaporizhzhia sector defeated yesterday's Russian offensive," Ukrainian military said on Telegram messaging app.
The military said 18 armoured vehicles including three tanks were destroyed and that the Russians "retreated to their previous positions."
The southern Zaporizhzhia direction became the main focus of theUkrainian counteroffensive in the summer of 2023 although there were no significant breakthroughs and only a few settlements were liberated.
Putin says situation in Ukraine is life-or-death for Russia
Events on the battlefield in Ukraine are a matter of "life and death" for Russia that could determine its fate, President Vladimir Putin said.
"I think it is still important for us, and even more so for our listeners and viewers abroad, to understand our way of thinking," Putin said in an interview broadcast on state television.
"Everything that is happening on the Ukraine front: For them, it is an improvement of their tactical position but, for us, it is our fate, it is a matter of life and death," he said.
The Kremlin has repeatedly portrayed the nearly two-year-old full-scale invasion of Ukraine as a struggle for Russia's survival, in an attempt to whip up patriotic sentiment among a population largely apathetic about the offensive.

(Photo: United Aircraft Corporation)

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