Early Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that it had successfully intercepted two Ukrainian drones near Crimea in the Kursk Region. This incident occurred as Kiev escalated its attacks on Moscow’s facilities in the midst of its gradual counteroffensive on multiple fronts.
The ministry conveyed on its Telegram channel: “Around 1:00 AM today, an attempt by the [Kyiv] government to carry out a terrorist act on Russian territory using two unmanned aerial vehicles was thwarted.”
“The Russian air defense forces on alert promptly neutralized the Ukrainian UAVs, one over the Black Sea near the Crimean Peninsula and the other over the Kursk Region,” the ministry reported.
In recent times, Kiev’s forces have increased their use of drones in their attacks against the Russian side, with the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which began 18 months ago, inflicting significant casualties on both parties.
This interception occurred shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky relieved his Defense Minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, of his duties on Sunday, pledging to introduce “new approaches” within the ministry.
This decision was made against the backdrop of a slow-paced counteroffensive against Russian forces and allegations of widespread corruption within the defense establishment.
Oleksiy Reznikov, who had held the position for just three months before Russia initiated its special military operation against Ukraine, was an outspoken advocate for securing military support from Western allies and had led negotiations aimed at obtaining advanced weaponry.
President Zelensky revealed the appointment of Reznikov’s successor via a video message, coinciding with reports of misconduct and sluggish operations in dealing with Russia. This change is expected to bring about significant transformations in Ukraine’s defense apparatus.
Last month, as the Russia-Ukraine conflict escalated, President Zelensky dismissed several high-ranking military officials on corruption charges, emphasizing the need for individuals with firsthand experience of war to lead the system. In a social media post, he declared, “We are removing all regional military commissioners,” a decision made following consultations with senior military leadership. He added, “Those who understand the realities of war and recognize that cynicism and bribery during wartime amount to high treason should be in charge of this system.”