A combat drone dropped explosives on an electricity substation in a Russian village near the border with Ukraine, while Russia's Ministry of Defence reported shooting down more than a dozen Ukrainian drones over the Russian regions of Belgorod, Kursk and Kaluga. In the Russian village of Belaya, located less than 25km (16 miles) from the border, "a Ukrainian drone dropped two explosive devices on a substation", Kursk regional governor Roman Starovoyt said on the Telegram messaging app early on Friday. "One of the transformers caught fire. Five settlements and a hospital were cut off from power supply. Fire crews rushed to the scene," he said.
Russia launched its largest air attack on Ukraine this month, targeting three regions – Mykolaiv and Odesa in the south and Kirovohrad in central Ukraine. The air force said its air defence systems shot down 34 of 44 Shahed drones. Damage on the ground was limited. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Ukrainian forces were "gradually gaining ground" in their counteroffensive against Russia. Speaking in Kyiv at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Stoltenberg also said Russian troops were fighting for Moscow's "imperial delusions".
Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a recent interview that the Western military alliance should "be prepared for bad news" in the Ukraine war ahead of the winter months. "Wars develop in phases," Stoltenberg told German broadcaster ARD in an interview Saturday, according to Politico Europe. "We have to support Ukraine in both good and bad times."
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rebuffed Western officials who say Ukrainian troops are gaining ground too slowly in their counteroffensive against Russian forces. "Ukrainian forces are moving forward. Despite everything, and no matter what anyone says, we are advancing, and that is the most important thing. We are on the move," Zelenskyy wrote on the Telegram messaging app. The Russian defence ministry said its forces thwarted an attempt by Ukraine to "launch a terrorist strike" on the Crimean bridge using a "half-loaded unmanned boat".
Russian and Ukrainian forces remained largely static on the battlefield in the 84th week of the war after a month of vigorous Ukrainian advances that saw Kyiv break through the first of three Russian lines of defence on the southern front. Still, Ukraine proved it could hold onto its gains against Russian counterattacks and even made a few advances. Russian forces appeared to have lost a kilometre-long (0.6-mile-long) trench west of Verbove, a village on the front line of the main Ukrainian thrust through Russian defences in the Zaporizhia region in southeastern Ukraine. Vladimir Rogov, an occupation official, said at least four companies of Ukrainian troops had launched an attack on the trench on September 26 supported by armoured fighting vehicles. Geolocated footage that Russian sources released the following day confirmed that Ukraine held the position it had stormed.