Published By: Saurabh Verma
Last Updated: August 30, 2023, 22:53 IST
Ukrainian drones damaged at least two military planes at an airport in Russia’s northwest, officials said Wednesday, as several other Russian regions were targeted in a massive overnight attack.
The attack on Pskov airport, roughly 700 kilometres (more than 400 miles) from the border with Ukraine, marked the latest strike to rock Russian territory since Kyiv vowed to “return” the conflict to Russia in July.
Regional governor Mikhail Vedernikov said on social media that a drone attack “had been repelled in Pskov airport”, adding there were no casualties but that authorities were assessing the damage.
Vedernikov, who said he was at the scene of the attack in the small hours of Wednesday, posted a video showing a large fire and smoke on the skyline, as blasts and sirens could be heard in the background.
Later footage shared by the governor showed a barrage of outgoing fire from what appeared to be Russian air defences.
There was no immediate comment from the defence ministry, which said in the early hours of the morning it had downed a wave of drones in several other regions.
State news agency TASS, citing emergency services, said four Ilyushin Il-76 heavy transport planes were damaged in the attack in Pskov.
The emergencies ministry said at least two Il-76 military transport planes had caught fire at the airport.
Mykhaylo Podolyak, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said the attack showed that the conflict was moving closer to Russian territory and that this “could not be stopped”.
However he added that Ukraine “strictly adheres to the obligation not to use the weapons of its partners” to strike inside Russia.
The airport cancelled flights on Wednesday after the attack, but will resume normal operations Thursday, governor Vedernikov said.
The Kremlin said Wednesday that military experts were working to find out which routes the drones were taking in order “to prevent such situations in the future”.
“Indeed, the terrorist activity of the Kyiv regime continues, with an overwhelming number of drones flying precisely at civilian targets,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
The region of Pskov, which was also targeted by drones in late May, is surrounded by NATO members Estonia and Latvia to its west and Belarus to its south.