- A Ukrainian drone strike damaged four Russian transport planes at a Russian airbase in Pskov, according to reports.
- The strike comes as Ukraine steps up its attacks in Russia to draw Putin back into the war.
- Satellite images suggest that two of the planes were destroyed and two others were significantly damaged.
Four Russian transport planes were damaged this week after a Ukrainian drone strike hit a Russian airbase hundreds of miles from fighting in Ukraine, officials said.
The strike represents one of the largest attacks on Russian territory since the start of the war and comes as Ukraine steps up its strikes against Russia in a bid to bring war back to Moscow after more than 18 months of fighting brutal on Ukrainian territory.
A spokesman for Ukraine’s Defense Ministry intelligence service told Reuters that four Ilyushin Il-76 transport planes were destroyed beyond repair at a Russian airfield in the Pskov region on Tuesday evening, but did not provided additional details about the strike.
The city of Pskov is located in the far northwest of Russia, more than 650 kilometers from the Ukrainian border. A spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said the attacks “would not go unpunished” and accused the West of aiding the attack, saying Ukrainian drones could not have penetrated so far in Russia without help, according to NBC News.
Pskov Governor Mikhail Vedernikov shared a video on Telegram that appeared to show a giant cloud of smoke above the airbase as the sound of sirens sounded. He said there were no casualties in the incident.
Satellite images shared on social networks in the aftermath of the attack, two of the IL-76 aircraft were completely destroyed in an explosion, while two other cargo aircraft were substantially damaged.
Ukraine’s defense ministry spokesman told Reuters that several other planes at the base were also damaged in the attack. Ukraine has stuck to its usual policy of refraining from providing details of strikes taking place in Russia.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was investigating where the drones were launched from in order to prevent future attacks, media reported.
The Pskov attack was part of a wider Ukrainian attack that hit at least six regions of Russia on Tuesday night. Drone strikes have become commonplace in Russia in recent months as Ukraine seeks to destabilize Russia.