Ukraine shoots down Russian balloons as Moldova, Romania report sightings – Nationwide

Six Russian balloons have been noticed over Kyiv and most have been shot down after being engaged by air defenses, the Ukrainian capital’s army administration stated on Wednesday.

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It stated the balloons could have been carrying nook reflectors and reconnaissance gear however didn’t specify after they flew over the capital, though air alerts have been issued in Kyiv on Wednesday.

“In line with info that’s now being clarified, these have been balloons that transfer within the air below the propulsion of wind,” the army administration wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

“The aim of launching the balloons was probably to detect and exhaust our air defenses.”

Shortly earlier than the announcement, Ukrainian air drive spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat stated Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February final yr, could possibly be utilizing balloons in a brand new drive to protect its shares of reconnaissance drones.

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“Reconnaissance drones just like the Orlan-10 at the moment are getting used extra sparingly (by Russia), they usually thought ‘Why don’t we use these balloons?’ So they’re utilizing them,” Ihnat instructed Ukrainian tv.

He confirmed that air raid sirens had blared within the capital on Wednesday due to balloons flying overhead.

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Ihnat echoed the army administration’s suggestion that Russia could possibly be utilizing the balloons to distract Ukrainian air defenses.

“The enemy desires us to make use of our air defenses, which defend our strategic objects, on these balloons, which value nothing.”

Russia didn’t instantly touch upon the experiences of balloons over Kyiv.

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Moldovan airspace shutdown

Ukraine’s southwestern neighbor Moldova, which has reported Russian missile intrusions into its airspace a number of occasions in current months, additionally reported an unidentified Russian object over its territory.

The nation shut its airspace for over an hour on Tuesday after a flying object “resembling a meteorological balloon” was sighted by authorities.

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On Wednesday, the speaker of Moldova’s parliament, Igor Grosu, instructed reporters the flying object that had prompted the nation to shut its airspace belonged to Russia.

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Grosu stated the balloon had crossed into northern Moldova from Ukraine.

“It’s both a (unmanned aerial automobile), or a tool which is taking some sort of measurements at a sure peak,” he added.

Romania, a NATO member state that borders each Ukraine and Moldova, stated on Tuesday it had scrambled jets after an aerial goal resembling a climate balloon was noticed in its airspace.

— Reporting by Max Hunder and Pavel Polityuk in Kyiv and Alexander Tanas in Chisinau, Modifying by Timothy Heritage and Invoice Berkrot

&copy 2023 Thomson Reuters

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