Ukraine war: Drone downed over Russia, Moscow says

March 27, 2023
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu

MOSCOW — A Ukrainian drone has been shot down by Russian air defenses, Moscow has said.

The drone came down in the town of Kireyevsk, some 400km (249 miles) from the Ukraine border, on Sunday, the defense ministry announced.

Russian state media is reporting that at least three people were injured in an explosion after it was brought down.

Ukraine has dismissed previous claims that it has attacked Russian civilian targets with explosive drones and has not yet commented on this incident.

Moscow has deployed hundreds of drones against Ukraine.

Russian law enforcement authorities say the drone - said to be a Strizh-type (Tu-141) UAV packed with explosives - was brought down at 15:20 local time (13:20 BST), causing a large crater in the heart of Kireyevsk.

Several apartments have reportedly been damaged in the town - which lies in the Tula region, 220km south of Moscow - but there have not been any serious injuries.

In a statement on its Telegram channel, the Russian Defense Ministry accused Ukraine of attempting to carry out a strike.

"The grouping of Russian air defense systems deployed in the Tula region - S-300 and Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft missile systems, as well as Pole-21 electronic warfare systems - provide reliable cover from this direction," the defense ministry said.

"In particular, the Pole-21 electronic warfare complex handled the Ukrainian strike drone, which resulted in its navigation system being disabled."

In December, Moscow said three Russian air force personnel died after being wounded by falling debris from a drone that was shot down at the Engels airbase in the south of the country.

The Engels air base has been repeatedly used by Russia to carry out missile strikes on various targets in Ukraine since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion last February. — BBC

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