Russia launches 45 drones in mass barrage of Ukraine as Kyiv continues war cabinet reshuffle

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces launched 45 drones over Ukraine on Sunday in a five-and-a-half-hour barrage, officials said, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy continued to reshuffle his war cabinet as the war enters its third year.

In a statement, the Ukrainian air force said it had shot down 40 Iranian-made Shahed drones over nine different regions, including on the outskirts of the country’s capital, Kiev.

The five-and-a-half-hour attack targeted agricultural facilities and coastal infrastructure, officials of Ukraine’s southern armed forces wrote on Telegram. They said a strike in the Mykolaiv region injured one person, causing a fire and damaging nearby residential buildings.

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

The attacks come as Zelenskyy continues to shake up his military commanders in an effort to maintain momentum against attacking Russian forces.

Kiev announced on Sunday that former Deputy Defense Minister Lieutenant General Alexander Pavlyuk would become the new commander of Ukraine’s ground forces. The post was previously held by Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, who was appointed on Thursday to replace Ukraine’s outgoing military chief General Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

New Presidential Decrees, also called Brig. General Ihor Skibiuk as commander of the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces and Major General Ihor Plahuta as commander of the Territorial Forces of Ukraine.

Lieutenant General Yurii Sodol, the former head of the Ukrainian Marine Corps, was appointed the new commander of the Combined Armed Forces of Ukraine, replacing Lieutenant General 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 heard through the media about my resignation from the post of Commander of the Combined Forces, which I have held since 2020,” he said.

New Commander-in-Chief Syrskyi has indicated that his immediate objectives include improving troop rotation on the front lines and harnessing the power of new technology at a time when Kiev’s armed forces are largely on the defensive.


Ukraine’s military intelligence said on Sunday that attacking Russian forces had been found using Starlink terminals to support their attack. A recording of an intercepted conversation between two Russian soldiers was released as evidence.

Starlink terminals, which use a series of satellites from Elon Musk’s company Space

However, in recent weeks there have been several reports in Ukrainian media about Russian troops using Starlink on the front lines in occupied Ukraine.

They urged Space

However, Western technological components are regularly found in Russia’s arsenal as Moscow has become increasingly adept at sanctions evasion and often imports goods through third countries.

In a statement on Telegram on Saturday, Zelenskyy said he hoped to restart the higher levels of the Ukrainian armed forces with experienced combat commanders.

“Now people who are well known in the military and who themselves know well what the military needs are taking on new responsibilities,” he said.

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