Moscow Accuses Ukraine Of Failed Drone Attacks On Russian Territory
The Russian government has accused Ukraine of launching a series of failed drone attacks on Russian territory overnight.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the attacks targeted several military and civilian sites in the Rostov and Krasnodar regions.
The Ukrainian government has denied any involvement in the attacks and has called the accusations "groundless".
The attacks occurred overnight on February 28, 2023, when a number of drones were detected flying over the Rostov and Krasnodar regions.
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The drone fell within 100 kilometers (62 miles) of Moscow, close to the settlement of Gubastovo, which is operated by the Russian energy giant Gazprom.
Gazprom informed the Russian official news agency RIA Novosti that its activities in the Kolomna area were not affected.
Mr. Vorobyov said on Telegram that the drone's target in Kolomna "was likely a civilian infrastructure site that was not destroyed."
The drones were reportedly carrying explosives and were intended to target military and civilian sites in the area.
Russian air defense systems were able to intercept and shoot down the drones before they could cause any damage.
There are no casualties or damage on the ground. The FSB (Russian security service) and other competent authorities are investigating,
- Andrei Vorobyov
Drone Crashes Near Gazprom Facility In Moscow, FSB Probing Incident l Russia-Ukraine War
What Are The Accusations?
The Russian government has accused Ukraine of being behind the attacks, citing intelligence reports that allegedly show Ukrainian involvement.
In a statement, the Russian Defense Ministry said that "the attacks were carried out from the territory of Ukraine by members of illegal armed groups".
Pictures provided by Russian media and government authorities show a damaged drone on a snowy area in front of a birch tree woodland. The region around the Gazprom site is very wooded.
The drone resembles the UJ-22 Airborne, a product of Ukrainian firm Ukjet, in appearance. According to Ukrjet, the vehicle's range is 800 kilometers, allowing it to reach the Kolomna region from Ukraine.
It is more than 500km away from Russian border with Ukraine. Soon Putin might get very afraid to show himself in public as drones can reach far distances.
- Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to Ukraine's minister of internal affairs
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The Ukrainian government has denied any involvement in the attacks and has called the accusations "groundless" and "yet another attempt to discredit Ukraine on the international stage".
What Has Been The International Response?
The accusations have heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine, which have been engaged in a long-running conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The United States has called on both sides to exercise restraint and to work towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
The European Union has also expressed concern over the situation and has called for an immediate de-escalation of tensions.
What Happens Next?
The situation remains tense, with both sides trading accusations and rhetoric.
The incident is likely to further strain relations between Russia and Ukraine, which have been fraught since Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.
International observers are calling for an independent investigation into the attacks to determine their origin and to prevent further escalation of the conflict.
Russian social media posts depicted the grey metal wreckage of a drone lying in a snowdrift at the edge of a wooded area reportedly close to Kolomna. The photographs could not be immediately verified by Reuters.
Vorobyov said that the drone looked to have been aimed at a "civil infrastructure facility," but no harm was caused. He said that the FSB security agency was handling the situation and that locals were not in danger.