Ukrainian drone attack on Pskov airport destroyed four Russian IL-76 transport aircraft triggering a large-scale fire. Ukrainian drones struck targets in at least six regions deep within Russia on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry reported intercepting and shooting down drones over several other regions, including Oryol, Bryansk, Ryazan, Kaluga, and Moscow.
However, In northern Russia, more than 600 km from Ukraine, a huge fire erupted at a military airfield in the city of Pskov, where elite paratroopers are garrisoned.
Tass news agency reported at least four giant Il-76 transport planes were damaged, two of which had “burst into flames”.
In Russia, the governor of Pskov posted a video on Telegram showing a huge fire with the sounds of sirens and an explosion at the air base.
Another video posted online showed anti-aircraft systems in action around the city, which is just 32 km (20 miles) east of Russia’s border with NATO member Estonia.
Moscow said it had thwarted all the attacks on Russia. Russia typically describes all Ukrainian drone strikes as unsuccessful, regardless of the damage on the ground.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was working out where the drones were launched from to prevent further strikes. President Vladimir Putin had been informed immediately, as would be the case in any such “massive attacks”, Peskov said.
Kyiv confirmed the Russian planes had been destroyed in Pskov, without commenting on the nature of the incident. It generally withholds comment on strikes on territory inside Russia though it says it has a right to hit military targets.
“Yes, four IL-76 transport planes were destroyed in Pskov at an airfield, they are beyond repair. Also, several other of those (aircraft) are damaged, but the information is being checked,” Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for Ukraine’s GUR military agency, told Reuters.
Ukraine’s Western allies generally forbid Kyiv from using weapons they supply to attack Russia but say Kyiv has a right to carry out such strikes with its own weapons.
Among the other attacks in Russia, Moscow said Ukrainian drones had tried to attack a TV tower over the Bryansk region. No casualties were reported.
Attacks on Russia in recent weeks, including repeated drone strikes on central Moscow, have brought the war home to many Russians for the first time, even as Ukrainians have spent the past year and a half in constant peril from air strikes.