Western Russia hit by purported largest drone attack so far

August 30, 2023

Russian media on Wednesday said Ukraine had sent waves of drones deep into western Russia in a four-hour attack that struck military assets.

In what was reported to be the largest drone attack inside Russian territory since the start of the Ukrine-Russia war in February 2022, at least six regions were targeted.

The unmanned crafts hit the Pskov airport near the borders of Estonia and Latvia, about 400 miles (700 kilometers) west of Moscow. At least four Il-76 military transport planes, which carry both troops and heavy machinery, were damaged in the strike, according to Russian state media outlet TASS.

Pskov Gov. Mikhail Vedernikov ordered all flights to and from the airport canceled for the day so damage could be assessed. He added that no one was hurt and the fire was doused.

Three main Moscow airports—Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo and Domodedovo—also temporarily halted flights.

There was no immediate comment from Ukrainian officials; Kyiv usually doesn’t take official responsibility for attacks within Russia’s borders.

However, Advisor to Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs Anton Gerashchenko posted several videos on social media and noted that each of the Il-76 aircrafts costs about $86 million.

Without taking responsibility for the attacks, Ukrainian Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov has noted that Ukraine possesses drones with a range of up to 300 miles (500 kilometers).

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russian military officials would analyze “how this was done in order to take appropriate measures to prevent these situations in the future.”

Russian forces, meanwhile, hit Kyiv with drones and missiles overnight Tuesday into Wednesday in what Ukrainian officials called a “massive, combined attack” that killed two people.

PHOTO: Russian video of drone attack on Pskov airport

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