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Russian Warplanes Reportedly Destroyed in Overnight Drone Attacks

The aftermath of a Ukrainian drone attack on the Kursk region. Roman Starovoit / Telegram

Updated with reports of destroyed Russian planes, injured investigators.

Russia's Defense Ministry said Friday that it downed 53 Ukrainian drones, most of which targeted the southern Rostov region, where sources in Ukraine's security services claim to have destroyed several Russian warplanes.

"During the night and on the morning of April 5, the Kyiv regime tried to commit several terrorist attacks with aerial drones," the Defense Ministry said in a statement posted on the messaging app Telegram.

It said 44 of the drones were downed or intercepted over the Rostov region, while the remaining drones were destroyed in the regions of Krasnodar, Kursk, Belgorod and Saratov. 

Unverified videos shared on social media showed what was said to be drones attacking the Morozovsk airfield in the Rostov region. In one of the videos, a large fireball could be seen bursting into the night sky.

Anonymous Ukrainian security service sources later told news outlets that six Russian planes had been destroyed at the airfield, while eight others had been badly damaged.

Russia uses tactical bombers like the Su-24 and Su-24M based in Morozovsk to fire guided bombs at Ukrainian territory, a source was cited as saying by Reuters.

Authorities in the Rostov region initially said only that an electrical substation had been damaged in the overnight strikes. But regional governor Vasily Golubev later on Friday said eight people who were “investigating the site of a drone crash” were injured outside the Morozovsk air base.

Meanwhile, in western Russia's Kursk region, Governor Roman Starovoit said two drones attacked a village, damaging multiple homes and vehicles. No one was injured in that attack, he said.

In the Saratov region, a drone was shot down over the city of Engels, which is located near a Russian military air base. The governor of that region said no one was injured.

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