Explosive drones attacked six regions of Russia on Wednesday night and damaged four military cargo planes at an airfield hundreds of miles from Ukraine, Russian officials said, suggesting that after months of sustained missile and drone strikes with few resources, Ukraine is able to… Increasingly to respond deep into Russia.
In what appeared to be the most successful of the strikes, four Russian Il-76 military cargo planes were damaged while parked near a runway at an airfield in Pskov, 30 miles from the border with NATO member Estonia. Russian regional governor to publish Video footage of smoke billowing from an airport, where he said drones had damaged planes, though the extent was unclear.
Russia also launched a wave of attacks on Ukraine early Wednesday, targeting at least three regions. The Ukrainian air force said it shot down 43 of the 44 missiles and drones, although officials in the capital, Kiev, said debris falling from drones or missiles shot down by air defense systems killed at least two people.
Local officials said the bombing was the most significant in the Kiev region in months. But the drone barrage that exploded in Russia was exceptional, and appears to be the result of Ukraine’s long efforts to respond to Russian missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian cities, infrastructure, and military targets.
While Ukrainian officials have not claimed responsibility for the overnight strikes, in keeping with their practice of launching attacks inside Russia, they have increasingly made clear that they view bringing the war home for ordinary Russians as a legitimate tactic against an invasion of Moscow.
“We all went through these attacks by Russia,” Oleksandr Danylyuk, former secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said in an interview on Wednesday. “We understand how devastating they are. It is important that we are able to take revenge.”
The attacks destroyed valuable military equipment, although they did little to significantly damage Russia’s overall military strength. These attacks also aim to penetrate Russian propaganda by showing the Russians that their army is weak, and to boost morale among Ukrainians who want revenge.
On Wednesday, the governor of Russia’s Pskov region, Mikhail Vedernikov, posted videos on the messaging app Telegram showing a large fire at night with smoke billowing, and what appeared to be air defenses firing on incoming drones.
He later wrote that a review of the airport had been conducted and that “everything is in order,” adding that operations would resume there on Thursday.
The Russian Defense Ministry did not address the event that occurred in Pskov. It added that at least eight Ukrainian drones were intercepted over five regions south and southwest of Moscow. The ministry said the drones were shot down in the Bryansk, Oryol, Kaluga and Ryazan regions, as well as in the Ruza district on the outskirts of the Moscow region.
In Ukraine, explosions and the roar of air defense missiles rocked Kiev around 5 a.m., and missiles and drones targeted the capital in the biggest attack since spring, said Serhiy Popko, head of the regional military administration in Kiev. He said in a statement.
He added that a barrage of drones attacked the city, followed by the firing of missiles, and more than 20 of them were shot down. Two people were killed in the city by the debris, according to Mr. Popko and the city’s mayor.
Mark Santora And Valeria Safronova Contributed to reports.
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