| 24 March 2023, Friday |

Drone crashes in failed attack southeast of Moscow, regional governor says

Tuesday, 110 kilometers (68 miles) from the center of the Russian city, a drone crashed near a natural gas distribution facility in the southeast of Moscow, according to the regional governor.

Shortly after the Defense Ministry accused Ukraine of attempting two drone strikes in southern Russia overnight, Andrei Vorobyov reported the occurrence close to the town of Kolomna.

Attacks inside Russia are not officially attributed to Ukraine. Since Russia invaded Ukraine a little over a year ago, if it was behind the Kolomna incident, it would have been its closest attempt at a drone strike against the Russian capital.

Postings on Russian social media showed the grey metal wreckage of a drone lying in a snowdrift by the edge of a wood said to be near Kolomna. Reuters could not immediately verify the images.

Vorobyov said the drone appeared to have been intended to strike a “civil infrastructure facility” but there was no damage. He said the FSB security agency was dealing with the situation and there was no danger to residents.

Earlier, the Defence Ministry accused Ukraine of launching attack drones towards civil infrastructure targets in the southern regions of Krasnodar and Adygea.

It said its anti-drone defence systems had caused the drones to veer off course and miss their targets.

“Both drones lost control and deviated from their flight paths. One fell into a field, the other, deviating from its trajectory, did not harm the intended target,” it said.

There was no immediate comment from Ukrainian authorities.

Russian state news agencies had earlier reported a fire at an oil depot in the Krasnodar region, around 240 km (150 miles) southeast of the Crimean peninsula, after a drone was spotted flying overhead.

The main civilian airport of Russia’s second city, St Petersburg, suspended all flights for an hour on Tuesday morning for what the Defence Ministry said were exercises involving fighter jets in Russia’s western air space.

In early December, Russia said three military personnel had been killed in alleged Ukrainian drone attacks on two air bases hundreds of miles from the front lines in Ukraine.

On Dec. 26, it said it had shot down another Ukrainian drone close to one of the air bases – near the city of Saratov, where Russian strategic nuclear bombers are based – and that three more air force personnel had been killed.

  • Reuters