Authorities announced Wednesday that drones from Ukraine had conducted a round of attacks deep within Russia overnight. It is the worst assault on Russia since Ukraine started a full-scale invasion of its neighbor more than 18 months ago.
Strategic installations around Russia were allegedly set fire, and four military transport planes were destroyed at an airbase near the border with Russia’s Baltic neighbors. As Ukraine attempts to turn the tables on its invader in the air and pursue a counteroffensive on the ground, drone strikes have become nearly regular occurrences inside Russia in recent months.
Though they haven’t caused much damage or casualties, the Kremlin finds it more challenging to keep the conflict a distant topic of conversation among the Russian people. Officials in Ukraine reported two deaths from a missile and drone strike on the capital city of Kyiv overnight, despite the country’s policy of not publicly claiming credit for attacks within Russia.
As Russia awoke, it learned that many areas had been attacked. Drones attacked a military airfield in the western Russian province of Pskov, damaging four Il-76 transport planes and setting two on fire. Pskov Governor Mikhail Vedernikov posted a video on Telegram’s messaging app, claiming the Russian Defense Ministry was “deflecting a drone assault” on the airport. The footage showed a giant plume of smoke and the sounds of an explosion in the background.
On Wednesday, he grounded all airport flights until the extent of the damage could be determined. No one was hurt, and the fire department was putting the fire out.
Russian Defense Ministry official statements ignored the Pskov airport assault, while late-night Telegram posts indicated drone strikes in the Ryazan, Kaluga, and Orlov districts. The government also said they had destroyed four fast military vessels in the Black Sea transporting fifty Ukrainian “special operations soldiers.”
Sevastopol’s governor, Mikhail Razvozhaev, said the city’s harbor came under assault from drones launched from ships.
The capital of Ukraine was under its worst bombardment in months; at the same time, Russia was experiencing its largest aircraft blitz of the conflict. A month to the day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy threatened to take the fight back to Russia “to its symbolic centers and military bases,” these exchanges took place.
Russia holds Kyiv responsible for all drone strikes inside its borders even though the Ukrainian capital seldom accepts guilt.
Despite the proof that hundreds of civilian locations have been attacked in Ukraine since February, Moscow labels every strike on Russian territory as “terrorism” while branding its attacks on Ukraine as directed primarily at military infrastructure.