Russia-Ukraine war live: dozens of Ukrainian drones attacked Belgorod, Bryansk and Kursk regions, says Moscow

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Russian Ministry of Defence claims to have shot down 31 drones over Belgorod, Bryansk and Kursk; buildings damaged in Belgorod, state media Tass reports governor as saying

Welcome back to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. This is Helen Sullivan with the latest.

Our top story this morning: Dozens of Ukrainian drones attacked three Russian regions overnight, according to the Russian Ministry of Defence, which claimed to have shot down 31 unmanned aircraft in what it described as a ‘terrorist attack’.

A huge fire erupted at an oil pipeline in the western Ukrainian region of Ivano-Frankivsk on Saturday, injuring nine people, five of them critically, authorities said. The blaze near the village of Strymba caused an oil spill spanning 100 sq metres before it was extinguished. Footage shared on social media showed thick clouds of black smoke billowing out over the village. The cause of the rupture was not immediately clear, but local media outlets reported there had been a powerful explosion. The regional governor, Svitlana Onyshchuk, said two children and three adults were in critical condition with numerous burns.

A Ukrainian drone attack on Saturday in the southern Russian region of Bryansk injured one person and damaged windows and the roof of an administrative building, the region’s governor said. Alexander Bogomaz said on Telegram the incident occurred in Trubchevsk town. He earlier said a village in the region had been shelled by Ukrainian forces, damaging three homes.

Ukraine signed 20 agreements and memorandums with foreign partners on the manufacture of drones and the repair and production of armoured vehicles and ammunition at the first international Defence Industries Forum, which Kyiv organised with international producers. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he wanted to turn Ukraine’s defence industry into a “large military hub”, also announcing the creation of the Defence Industries Alliance.

The UK’s new defence secretary says he has held talks with army leaders about deploying British troops within Ukraine for the first time for a training program. Grant Shapps, who met Zelenskiy for talks in Kyiv this week, said the proposal being discussed would reduce the reliance on the UK and other Nato members’ bases.

Nato member Romania reported possible violations of its airspace during overnight drone attacks by Russia on infrastructure in neighbouring Ukraine. “Following the detection of groups of drones heading towards Ukrainian territory near the Romanian border,” residents in the Tulcea and Galati municipalities were alerted, the defence ministry said in a statement on Saturday. “The radar surveillance system … indicated possible unauthorised entry into national airspace.” The ministry said no objects so far appeared to have fallen on Romanian territory but the search would continue.

Vladimir Putin has signed a decree marking Saturday 30 September as “Reunification Day”, commemorating Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. In a video address the Russian president said their “accession” to the Russian Federation a year ago was “a defining, truly historic and life-changing event”.

Russia’s former president Dmitry Medvedev marked the anniversary by suggesting Russia may annex more of Ukraine. “Victory will be ours. And there will be more new regions within Russia,” said Medvedev, who is now deputy chair of Russia’s security council.

The Ukrainian air force shot down Iranian kamikaze drones overnight on Friday, the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces said. In conjunction with anti-air defences, Ukrainian forces destroyed 30 Shahed drones within the Odesa, Mykolaiv and Vinnytsia regions.

Russia has been recruiting struggling Cubans to fight in Ukraine. The Havana government, a longstanding ally of Russia which says it is “not part” of the war, arrested 17 people last month in connection with a people-trafficking ring that lured Cubans to fight for Moscow. But a Reuters investigation has found recruits who volunteered to go to Russia to work for the military following overtures on social media from a recruiter.

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