Ukraine denies sending attack drones into Russia territories
Ukraine on Wednesday denied sending attack drones deep inside Russia, after several unmanned aircraft allegedly targeted civilian infrastructure and at least one drone crash-landed just outside of Moscow.
The drones did not cause any injuries or any significant damage, but they breached Russian air defenses on Monday and Tuesday and briefly shut down airspace over St. Petersburg.
The Russian Defense Ministry directly accused Ukraine of carrying out two of the attacks in a post on Telegram.
Mykhailo Podolyak, the adviser to Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelensky, denied the accusations from Moscow.
Podolyak said Kyiv “doesn’t strike” inside Russia territory.
“Panic & disintegration processes are building up in [Russia], reflected by an increase in internal attacks on infrastructure facilities by unidentified flying objects,” he tweeted.
According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, two of the unidentified attack drones targeted civilian infrastructure inside the city of Krasnodar and the region of Adygea in southern Russia on Tuesday but lost control and crashed.
On Monday night, unidentified drones targeted the region of Belgorod, which shares a border with Ukraine, and caused minor damage to cars and buildings. At least one drone flew through an apartment window in the capital.
Another drone crashed near the village of Gubastovo, which is about 60 miles outside of Moscow.
On Wednesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry also said it prevented a “massive drone attack” on the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014 and is occupied by Russian forces.
In a Telegram post, Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed six Ukrainian drones were shot down by air defense systems and four were disabled.
In December, Moscow also accused Ukraine of attacking an airbase with drones inside the Saratov region in the southeastern part of European Russia.
Ukrainian officials did not directly claim responsibility for that attack, which left three Russian servicemen dead, but alluded at the time to “consequences of Russian aggression” in a cryptic message.
Russia has carried out frequent attacks targeting Ukrainian civilian infrastructure and energy grids since October.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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