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Russia reports shooting down missiles over Crimea as Blinken visits Kiev

Russia’s air defences have shot down 10 U.S.-made ATACMS missiles over the annexed Black Sea peninsula of Crimea overnight, the Defence Ministry in Moscow said on Wednesday morning.

It was not possible to independently verify the claim.

The Defence Ministry also reported that 17 Ukrainian drones and other projectiles were shot down over the Russian border regions of Belgorod, Kursk and Bryansk.

Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine more than two years ago.

Kiev has received massive Western support, including military aid, for its defensive campaign.

The U.S. is the country’s most important backer in that regard.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken travelled to Kiev for a surprise visit on Tuesday where he met with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

He is set to meet with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Wednesday.

According to Ukrainian media reports, Blinken promised Ukraine weapons aid that could change the situation on the battlefield.

Russia began a major attack on Ukraine’s second city of Kharkiv, in the north-east, and the surrounding region four days ago.

Moscow’s forces have captured several villages and continue to bombard Kharkiv with missiles.

Russian border regions had repeatedly came under fire from Ukraine over the course of the war.

Crimea, which was illegally annexed by Moscow in 2014, has also been the target of Ukrainian attacks.

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