At least six regions across western and central Russia were targeted by one of the largest overnight drone attacks since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine 18 months ago, authorities said Wednesday.
The military also said it had destroyed four “high-speed military boats” with 50 Ukrainian special operations servicemen in the Black Sea around midnight.
Russia’s Defense Ministry did not comment on a major drone attack near EU borders that damaged military aircraft in northwestern Russia’s Pskov region.
Footage published by Pskov region Governor Mikhail Vedernikov showed a massive fire with the sounds of explosions and sirens in the background.
Vedernikov said the attack took place at Pskov airport, which is also home to Russia’s Il-76 military transport aviation.
At least four Il-76s were damaged or caught fire as a result of the attack, emergency officials told the state-run TASS news agency.
Pskov, which was last targeted by drones in May, lies 660 kilometers north of Ukraine and 30 kilometers east of the border with Estonia, a member of both the European Union and NATO.
Ukraine’s GUR military intelligence agency and other Ukrainian defense force units were behind the airport attack in Pskov, the Ukrainska Pravda news outlet reported Wednesday, citing an anonymous intelligence source.
GUR spokesman Andrei Yusov, who spoke on the record, told the outlet that his agency believes at least six Il-76s were damaged in the drone strikes.
“Four aircraft were destroyed and cannot be restored. Presumably, two more jets are damaged, [but] the information is being clarified,” Yusov claimed.
In Bryansk, Governor Alexander Bogomaz said Ukrainian drones tried to attack a broadcast tower. Authorities in the region's administrative center said falling drone debris caused a “bang” at the local Investigative Committee office, according to TASS.
Meanwhile, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said one drone had been downed while en route to the Russian capital.
All four of Moscow’s airports briefly closed their airspace and rerouted 11 flights during the overnight drone attacks, the Federal Air Transport Agency Rosaviatsia said.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the drone attacks as a sign of Ukraine’s “blunt hatred, anger and the absence of any prospects for its own development.”
Moscow and other Russian regions have been targeted by almost daily drone strikes since Kyiv vowed this summer to "return" the conflict to Russia.