Ukrainian officials on Friday said Russian forces launched their biggest drone attack on Ukraine in weeks, which is being seen as preparation for more fighting to come this winter.
Russia sent some 40 kamikaze drones and a cruise missile, with the Ukrainian military saying it shot down up to half of the drones and intercepted the inbound missile. Ukrainian anti-air systems were reported to be active across ten regions, including in western Lviv, which is far from the front lines of fighting in the east and south.
Ukraine’s President Zelensky condemned the broad assault, saying “As winter approaches, Russian terrorists will try to cause more harm.” While there were no casualties reported, he posted a video showing firefighters battling a huge blaze after a drone impacted a building.
Zelensky vowed to a war-ravaged and weary nation, “We are strengthening air defense. We are strengthening mobile fire groups.”
The New York Times has documented, “Data from the Ukrainian military shows that Russia has recently increased its drone assaults against Ukraine, targeting it with nearly 650 Iranian-made Shahed drones in the past two months, compared with about 450 in July and August.”
Separately on Friday a NYT op-ed has claimed that Russia, China, and Iran are banding together to give support to Hamas and Iranian proxies in the Mideast region, which heightens tensions and the potential for a broader war:
“The conflict between Israel and Hamas is fast becoming a world war online. Iran, Russia and, to a lesser degree, China have used state media and the world’s major social networking platforms to support Hamas and undercut Israel, while denigrating Israel’s principal ally, the United States,” authors Steven Lee Myers and Sheera Frenkel wrote.
“Iran’s proxies in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq have also joined the fight online, along with extremist groups, like al-Qaida and the Islamic State, that were previously at odds with Hamas,” they said.
VIDEO — Russia launched a massive drone attack early Friday, hitting critical infrastructure in the west and south of Ukraine and destroying private houses and commercial buildings in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city pic.twitter.com/JEQw51RdjW
— DAILY SABAH (@DailySabah) November 3, 2023
The op-ed ultimately concludes with this claim: “While Iran, Russia and China each have different motivations in backing Hamas over Israel, they have pushed the same themes since the war began. They are not simply providing moral support, the officials and experts said, but also mounting overt and covert information campaigns to amplify one another and expand the global reach of their views across multiple platforms in multiple languages.”
The Biden administration has actually made similar accusations, charging that Moscow wishes to sow destabilization in the Middle East, and also condemned the Kremlin for hosting a Hamas delegation last month for crisis talks related to the situation in Gaza.