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2 Russian Planes Damaged in Ukraine Drone Strikes – RFE/RL

Satellite image of the damaged Il-76 military transport planes.

At least two Russian military aircraft were damaged as a result of Ukrainian drone strikes on an airbase in northwestern Russia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) investigative project Skhemy reported Thursday, citing satellite imagery.

Authorities in the Pskov region said its airport came under a large-scale attack on Wednesday. Emergency officials told state media at least four Il-76 military transport planes were damaged or caught fire.

Ukraine’s GUR military intelligence said up to six of the aircraft may have been damaged in the drone strikes.

Two out of the seven aircraft seen in satellite images published by Skhemy showed black spots near their wings.

“Most likely drones tried to hit the fuel tanks located in that part of the aircraft,” aviation expert Anatoly Khrapchinsky told RFE/RL.

Khrapchinsky said it would take up to three months to repair the damaged Il-76 transport planes.

Cloud cover limited visibility of other parts of the Pskov airport, where Russian emergency services and Ukraine’s GUR said more planes had been damaged. 

The Dutch open-source intelligence project Oryx included two Il-76s on its list of damaged Russian aircraft.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has not commented on the attack on Pskov airport.

Videos and images shared online by Pskov region Governor Mikhail Vedernikov and eyewitnesses showed huge fires at the site of the attack.

The Pskov airport restored work on Thursday after canceling all civilian flights on the day of the attack as a security precaution. 

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