Russia launches 45 drones in mass barrage of Ukraine


Russia has launched 45 drones across Ukraine as Volodymyr Zelenskiy reshuffles his war cabinet.
Russia has launched 45 drones across Ukraine as Volodymyr Zelenskiy reshuffles his war cabinet.

Russian forces have launched 45 drones over Ukraine in a five-and-a-half-hour barrage, officials said, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy continued to reshuffle his war cabinet as the conflict enters its third year.

The Ukrainian air force said it had shot down 40 of the Iran-made Shahed drones over nine different regions, including on the outskirts of the country’s capital, Kyiv.

The attack targeted agricultural facilities and coastal infrastructure, officials for Ukraine’s southern defence forces wrote on Telegram. 

They said that a strike in the Mykolaiv region had injured one person, sparking a fire and damaging nearby residential buildings.

Another person was injured in Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk region when a blaze broke out due to falling debris from a destroyed drone, said the head of the region’s military administration, Serhiy Lysak.

The strikes come as Zelenskiy continues his shakeup of military commanders in a bid to maintain momentum against attacking Russian forces. 

Kyiv announced Sunday that former deputy defence minister Lt. Gen. Alexander Pavlyuk would become the new commander of Ukraine’s ground forces. 

The post was previously held by Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, who was named Thursday as the replacement for Ukraine’s outgoing military chief, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

New presidential decrees also named Brig. Gen. Ihor Skibiuk as commander of Ukraine’s air assault forces and Maj. Gen. Ihor Plahuta as commander of Ukraine’s territorial defence forces.

Lt. Gen. Yurii Sodol, the former head of Ukraine’s marine corps, was appointed the new commander of Ukraine’s combined forces, replacing Lt. Gen. Serhii Naiev.

In a statement on Telegram, Naiev thanked the country’s troops, and said he first heard news of his replacement from news reports. “I learned about my dismissal from the post of commander of the combined forces, which I’ve held since 2020, from the media,” he said.

Incoming commander-in-chief Syrskyi said his immediate goals include improving troop rotation at the front lines and harnessing the power of new technology at a time when Kyiv’s forces are largely on the defensive.