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Drone strike in Russian city of Pskov reportedly damages heavy transport planes

A drone attack on the city of Pskov in northwestern Russia has damaged four heavy transport planes, state media reported early on Wednesday, amid reports of explosions in regions south of Moscow.

“The defence ministry is repelling a drone attack in Pskov’s airport,” regional governor Mikhail Vedernikov said on social media, posting a video of a massive fire, with the sounds of explosions and sirens in the background.

Pskov is located about 800km (nearly 500 miles) from Ukraine’s border and the surrounding region borders EU member states Latvia and Estonia.

Separately, Russia’s military said early on Wednesday that one of its aircraft had destroyed four Ukrainian rapid vessels carrying up to 50 paratroops in an operation on the Black Sea.

In Moscow, news agency Tass reported that airspace above Vnukovo airport closed briefly in response to the attacks on Pskov, before reopening to air traffic.

There were also reportedly explosions in Russia’s Bryansk and Tula regions, according to the investigative news outlet Bellingcat.

There was no immediate comment from the defence ministry on the Pskov attack, but four transport planes were damaged, Tass news agency reported, citing emergency services.

Vedernikov said he was at the scene of the attack. “According to preliminary information, there are no victims,” he said, adding that the scale of the damage was being assessed.

Russia’s military said on Telegram early on Wednesday it had downed three Ukrainian drones over southern Bryansk region and one over central Orlov region.

There were reports of explosions in Bryansk, as well as the Tula region.

Bellingcat researcher Aric Toyler said online: “About every local Bryansk channel just now wrote, almost simultaneously, that they heard a loud explosion. Similar reports in Tula with reports of drones being fired at.”

After a string of drone attacks at the Pskov airfield, now there are explosions in Bryansk, where Ukraine has targeted a number of attacks over the last year. pic.twitter.com/gyylB8jvkr

— Aric Toler (@AricToler) August 29, 2023

The region of Pskov was previously targeted by drones in late May.

In recent weeks Moscow and other Russian regions have been targeted by a barrage of Ukrainian drone attacks after Kyiv vowed this summer to “return” the conflict to Russia.

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