Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia is planning prolonged attacks with Iran-made "Shahed" drones in a bid to "exhaust" the war-torn nation. In his nightly video address to the nation on Monday, the President said that since the beginning of 2023, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have shot down over 80 Russian drones, reports Ukrayinska Pravda.
"Only two days have passed since the beginning of the year, and the number of downed Iranian drones over Ukraine is now over 80. This number may increase in the near future. Because the nights can be quite restless these weeks.
"We have information that Russia is planning a prolonged attack with Shahed drones. Their bet may be on our exhaustion. The exhaustion of our people, our air defence, our electricity," he added.
He went to say that "the Russian regime needs sentiments that would lead to higher support of mobilisation. Something that they can demonstrate to their country in order to lie further, as if everything is going according to plan".
Meanwhile, Russian drone strikes on Ukraine appear to have increased in recent days, with Moscow launching attacks on cities and power stations across the country over the past three nights.
Continued Russian attacks Ukraine's energy infrastructure have destroyed power stations and plunged millions into darkness amidst the country's freezing winter. Zelensky's remarks also came hours after Ukraine confirmed that it carried out a strike in the occupied region of Donetsk, that killed hundreds of Russian troops, the BBC reported.
In an extremely rare admission of battlefield losses, Russia said the attack killed 63 of its troops -- the highest number of deaths acknowledged by Moscow since the war began on February 24, 2022. The claims have not been verified as access to the attack area is restricted.