KYIV: Ukraine said Sunday that the southern port city of Odessa was attacked by Iranian-made drones overnight, two days after a Russian attack with such a weapon killed two civilians.
“Odessa was attacked again by enemy kamikaze drones,” said the Ukrainian army’s Operational Command South.
“These were Iranian drones,” a Ukrainian South Command spokeswoman, Natalya Gumenyuk, later said.
Four Iranian-made drones were shot down in the south of the country on Friday, according to Ukraine’s armed forces.
Queues build up at Mongolian border as people flee Moscow call-up
Kyiv said later it decided to reduce Iran’s diplomatic presence in Ukraine over its supply of drones to Russia.
A foreign ministry official said the move amounted to expulsion as the ambassador was not in Ukraine and therefore could not be expelled.
“The use of Iranian-made weapons by Russian troops... are steps taken by Iran against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state, as well as against the life and health of Ukrainian citizens,” a spokesman for Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday.
Long lines of vehicles
Long lines of vehicles were seen at a border crossing between Mongolia and Russia on Sunday as people fled the Kremlin’s call-up of hundreds of thousands of reservists for the war in Ukraine.
The head of a checkpoint in the town of Altanbulag said that more than 3,000 Russians had entered Mongolia via the crossing since Wednesday, most of them men.
“From September 21, the number of Russian citizens entering Mongolia has increased,” checkpoint head Major G. Byambasuren said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced Russia’s first military call-up of fighting-age men since World War II to fill Russia’s army with hundreds of thousands of men after a string of setbacks that appears to have altered the tide in the seven-month Ukraine war.
Meanwhile, authorities on Saturday detained more than 700 people at protests across Russia against the partial military mobilisation, an independent monitoring group said.
A stream of Russians were also seen flocking by air to Istanbul on Saturday where several expressed relief at escaping but also concern for the safety of loved ones left behind.
Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2022