Russia claims Ukraine launched drones against targets in six Russian regions, including an attack on an airport in the western city of Pskov. The city is located near the borders of Latvia and Estonia, where military transport aircraft were reported damaged amid explosions and a huge fire.
In what could be the biggest drone attack on Russian territory since Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, Russia’s defense ministry said on Wednesday morning that drones were also shot down over the regions of Orlov, Bryansk, Ryazan, Kaluga, and the Moscow region surrounding the Russian capital.
Russian media report a drone attack on an airfield in Pskov, Russia. It hosts both civilian and military aircraft. Some sources report that at least two military aircraft were destroyed. pic.twitter.com/YANZ0r1Vzy
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) August 29, 2023
Russian state news agency TASS, quoting emergency services, said earlier on Wednesday that four Il-76 heavy transport aircraft, which have long been the workhorse of the Russian military, were damaged at an airfield in Russia’s western Pskov region. It is located roughly 660 kilometers (some 411 miles) north of the Ukrainian border.
Ukraine attacked 6 regions of Russia with drones. What is known so far:
– at about 0.30 Moscow time, the governor announced that a drone attack on the airport in Pskov was repulsed, there were no victims or injured. Flights at the airport were canceled for runway inspections.… pic.twitter.com/z2dGJmDjeH
— Victor vicktop55 (@vicktop55) August 30, 2023
“The defense ministry is repelling a drone attack in Pskov’s airport,” the regional Governor Mikhail Vedernikov said on the Telegram messaging app, posting a video of a large fire, with sounds of explosions and sirens in the background.
Vedernikov, who was at the scene of the attack, said that “according to preliminary information, there are no victims.” The scale of the damage to the airport was being assessed, he reported.
Russia has repeatedly accused Ukraine of carrying out drone strikes on its territory in recent months. Although Ukraine hasn’t claimed responsibility for specific drone strikes, President Volodymyr Zelensky has previously said that attacks on Russian territory are an “inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process.”
According to Russian media reports monitored by the BBC, there have been over 160 suspected aerial drone attacks this year in Russia and in Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine.
There have also been about a dozen sea drone attacks on Russian targets in the Black Sea, including on naval bases and the Crimean Bridge.
Russia responds with drone attacks in Ukraine
Russia also launched a missile and drone attack against Kyiv on Wednesday morning. This was described as the “most powerful strike” on the Ukrainian capital in months, leaving two people dead and one wounded, the city’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
Ukrainian air defenses destroyed more than twenty missiles and drones involved in the attack, and two security guards were killed by falling debris, according to authorities.
“Kyiv had not experienced such a powerful attack since spring…In total, more than 20 enemy targets were destroyed by air defense forces,” the Kyiv City Military Administration wrote on Telegram.