Russian air defenses have reportedly intercepted and halted a drone attack launched by Ukrainian forces on a town in Russia on Sunday, according to a statement by the Russian Defense Ministry. The attack resulted in three people sustaining injuries and multiple apartment buildings being damaged.
The town in question, Kireyevsk, is located in the Tula region, approximately 220 kilometers (140 miles) south of Moscow. The drone used in the attack was identified by the Russian Defense Ministry as a Ukrainian Tu-141 Strizh drone.
The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that a Polye-21 electronic unit was deployed to stop the drone attack. The unit reportedly disrupted the navigation system of the drone, causing it to lose its directional command and fall near Kireyevsk.
While Russian authorities have reported several previous drone attacks in towns and cities across the country, Ukrainian officials have denied any involvement in such attacks. Ukraine has also rejected previous Russian claims that Ukrainian drones have flown into Russian territory and damaged civilian infrastructure.
Kyiv has not yet responded to the latest allegations from Russia regarding the drone attack on Kireyevsk. However, the Ukrainian government has previously stated that it is willing to engage in dialogue with Russia to de-escalate tensions between the two countries.
Local officials in Kireyevsk confirmed that three people were injured in the attack, but that none of the injuries were serious. Tass news agency also reported that five private homes sustained damage as a result of the blast.
The incident occurred at approximately 3:20 pm (1220 GMT) on Sunday, and the resulting explosion caused a large crater in the center of Kireyevsk. Videos and pictures shared on social media showed the muddy crater, as well as the extent of the damage to buildings in the area.
This incident comes just months after a similar drone attack by Ukraine on Russia in December 2022. In that instance, a drone believed to be Ukrainian was shot down near the main base for Russia’s strategic bombers in the city of Saratov, resulting in the deaths of three Russian air force personnel.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has been ongoing for several years, with both sides accusing the other of instigating violence and aggression. The situation has been further complicated by the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, as well as ongoing territorial disputes in eastern Ukraine.
The international community has repeatedly called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, and has condemned any actions that could escalate tensions between the two countries. As of now, it remains unclear how this latest incident will impact diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict.