The South Command of the Ukrainian Air Force said its forces shot down two Russian helicopters and Iranian-supplied “kamikaze” drones.
The command said on Saturday that in the past 24 hours, three enemy Shahed-136 drones have been shot down over the Mykolaiv region and three others have been shot down by other units of the Ukrainian South Defense Forces.
Two Russian Kamov Ka-52 attack helicopters were also shot down in the southern region of Kherson, the command said.
They added that they had destroyed three Russian ammunition depots in the Beryslav and Kherson district during other strikes, the news channel Ukrinform reported. News week has contacted the Russian Defense Ministry for comment.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine published its separate daily assessment of Russia’s losses and said Moscow lost a total of 12 drones on Friday, in addition to eight tanks and 21 armored personal vehicles.
The Iranian drones have had a major impact on the war, hitting Ukrainian targets, including civilian infrastructure. Tehran had denied supplying Russia with the devices, although Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian admitted on Saturday that his country had supplied them, but said it was before the war started.
The spokesman for Ukraine’s foreign ministry, Oleg Nikolenko, responded by saying that Tehran must realize “that the consequences of complicity in the crimes of Russian aggression” “would far outweigh the benefits of Russia’s support”.
Meanwhile, Russia said on Saturday that its air defense systems had shot down a Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter and intercepted 27 projectiles fired by the US-supplied HIMARS multiple-launch missile systems.
Russian Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said the missiles were intercepted near the settlement of Vuhledar in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Novaya Kakhovka in the Kherson region, the state news agency Tass reported.
It comes as Vladimir Putin publicly authorized the evacuation of civilians from parts of Russian-occupied Kherson amid an advance by Kiev’s forces. At least 70,000 people are reported to have already been displaced from the city of Kherson, which took over Moscow early in the war.
Russian forces are reportedly looking for residents of the city who refuse to evacuate before Russian troops may withdraw from the western bank of the Dnipro River.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said Russian forces are still trying to capture the captured territory and launch offensives towards Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Novoplavlaka.
Also on Saturday, British defense officials said Putin’s mobilization will add “little additional offensive combat capability” to his forces in Ukraine, with many who will be sent into combat receiving little or no training at all.