According to official information, the western Russian city of Kursk was hit by a Ukrainian drone during the night. According to preliminary information, the projectile fell on the roof of a station building, regional governor Roman Starovoit reported on Telegram. The roof caught fire and five people were slightly injured by broken glass. The information could not be independently verified. Kursk is the capital of the border region of the same name with Ukraine. The city is a good 500 kilometers south of Moscow.

According to official information, the Russian capital claims to have fended off another drone attack. During the night there was an attempt to fly a drone over Moscow from the south, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Telegram. The air defense thwarted this. This, too, could not be verified independently.

The two Moscow airports, Vnukovo and Domodedovo, temporarily suspended take-offs and landings during the night. A representative of the air traffic services told the Russian state news agency Tass, without giving a reason for the suspension of flight operations.

In Chernihiv in northern Ukraine, the number of victims after the devastating Russian rocket attack on the city center initially continued to rise until Saturday evening. Meanwhile, on a trip to Sweden, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked for warplanes for his attacked country. Ukraine has been defending itself against the brutal Russian war of aggression for almost 18 months now.

At least seven people, including a child, were killed as a result of the heavy Russian rocket attack on the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv. Another 144 people were injured by the shelling in the busy city center, Zelenskyj said in his video address. 15 children were also among the injured. The Ukrainian head of state also announced retaliation: “Our soldiers will give Russia an answer to this terrorist attack,” he said.

A rocket landed near the Chernihiv Theater on Saturday afternoon. The city center was particularly busy that day because many people were celebrating a harvest festival and were walking back from the church when the attack took place.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced a determined response on Saturday: “Our soldiers will give Russia a response to this terrorist attack – a tangible response,” he said.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has rejected speculation that the slow counter-offensive against the Russian occupiers might fail. “We take such statements calmly,” Kuleba told the “Bild” newspaper.

“According to unnamed officials, generals and analysts, Ukraine should have ceased to exist within three to 10 days in February 2022,” Kuleba said, referring to the start of Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine. “They now assume that Ukraine will not be able to retake all of its territory so quickly.” This shows “that even doubters become more hopeful over time”.

“What I mean to say is that analysts should be more cautious in their forecasts and long-term forecasts. We don’t need to prove anything,” stressed the Ukrainian foreign minister.

Following the Russian attack on Chernihiv, which also left children dead or injured, UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Regina De Dominicis once again called on all parties to protect civilians and keep children out of the line of fire. More than 1,700 children have lost their lives or been injured in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, De Dominicis said in a statement. “The attacks must stop. Children must be protected. This country must be given the chance for peace and its children the chance for a future,” she demanded.

The planned delivery of western F-16 fighter jets is likely to take months – but according to information from Kiev, the training of Ukrainian pilots has already begun. “The training has already started,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov told TV channel 24 Kanal. Ukrainian engineers and technicians are also receiving training on F-16 fighter jets. Where exactly these take place, Resnikov did not say. According to Selenskyj, training sessions are already underway on Swedish Gripen machines.

Denmark and the Netherlands have agreed to supply Ukraine with F-16s and train Ukrainian pilots. However, since this is a weapon system from the USA, Washington’s approval is required. The US government said last Thursday that they wanted to enable Denmark and the Netherlands to quickly transfer the F-16. Nevertheless, it should still be several months before the aircraft can actually be delivered.

During a visit to Sweden, Zelenskyy thanked the Scandinavian country for its support. According to Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, the two signed a letter of intent to jointly produce, train and maintain the Combat Vehicle 90, a Swedish tank. However, Kristersson did not respond to Zelenskyj’s demand for the delivery of the Swedish Saab JAS 39 Gripen fighter jet.

In the east and south of Ukraine, Kiev’s armed forces continue their counter-offensive against the Russian invasion with the help of Western weapons.