Russia claims strikes on two Ukrainian Patriot systems that Kyiv says were decoys

(Reuters) -Russia said on Sunday it struck two Patriot air defence launch systems, but Ukraine said Moscow had hit decoy targets designed to squander expensive enemy missiles.

Russia's defence ministry said in a statement the attack took place in the area of the Black Sea port of Yuzhne, adding that a radar station was also destroyed. It said Iskander-M ballistic missiles had been used.

Commenting on videos of the attack circulating on social media, Ukraine's air force commander Mykola Oleshchuk said in a post on Telegram on Saturday evening, that Russia had hit Ukrainian decoy Patriot systems.

Reuters could not independently verify either side's claims.

Ukraine has previously exhibited cheap decoys built to look like multi-million dollar western air defence and missile systems for which Moscow is hunting in Ukraine.

The Patriot system, which has proved extremely effective in this war and of which Ukraine has very few, is at the top of Moscow's target list.

Oleshchuk added that Russia had also hit decoy planes in a missile attack on a Ukrainian military airfield on Wednesday.

"Thank you to all who help with quality decoy planes and air defence systems. The enemy now has fewer Iskanders, but we will bring up more decoys."

A video released on Telegram by the Russian ministry showed daylight explosions on uninhabited land near a coastline, after zooming in to identify objects.

(Reporting by Max Hunder in Kyiv and Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by William Mallard, Michael Perry and Sharon Singleton)