Monday, 27 March, 2023

Drone crashes near Moscow

Two others from Ukraine downed in southern Russia

MOSCOW: A drone that was likely targeting civilian infrastructure crashed near Moscow on Tuesday, a regional official said, after the defence ministry reported downing two Ukrainian drones in southern Russia, reports AFP.

The reported incidents are the latest in a series of suspected drone attacks in recent months inside Russia -- sometimes far from the border with Ukraine -- that Moscow has blamed on Kyiv.

"As for the incident with the crash of a UAV in district of Kolomna... the target was probably a civilian infrastructure facility, which was not damaged," Moscow regional governor Andrei Vorobyov said in a statement, referring to unmanned aerial vehicles.

"There are no casualties or damage on the ground. The FSB (security services) and other competent authorities are investigating," Vorobyov said.

Authorities have not specified what infrastructure may have been targeted, but Russian energy giant Gazprom operates a facility near the village of Gubastovo, where the drone crashed.

Gazprom told Russian state-run news agency RIA Novosti that its operations in the Kolomna region were operating uninterrupted.

"There were no emergencies due to the drone crash," its press service said in comments carried by RIA Novosti.

Vorobyov, the Moscow regional governor, gave his statement shortly after the defence ministry said Russian forces had downed two Ukrainian drones in southern Russia.           "The Kyiv regime attempted to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to attack civilian infrastructure in the Krasnodar region and the Adygea Republic. The UAVs were neutralised by electronic warfare units," it said.

Moscow has accused Ukraine of being behind several drone attacks on Russian military infrastructure inside the country.

This includes drone attacks on the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014, and on the border region of Belgorod.

Russia said in December that it downed several drones near Engels, a base for strategic Russian aircraft located hundreds of kilometres from Ukraine's border.

Pictures in January appeared to show Pantsir defence systems installed on the Russian defence ministry and one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's residences, but the Kremlin refused to comment.