Ukrainian kamikaze Beaver drones destroyed six IL-76 transport aircraft and Tu-22M3 bombers in Pskov airport

A drone attack on an airport in the north-western Russian city of Pskov has damaged six IL-76 military transport planes, Russian news agencies are reporting.

The Ilyushin 76 transport planes caught fire in the attack, the reports say.

The local governor said earlier the military was repelling an attack. He uploaded video showing a large fire while an explosion could also be heard.

Pskov is more than 600km away from Ukraine, close to the border with Estonia.

The strike on its neighbour is believed to be Ukraine’s biggest drone offensive since Moscow invaded 18 months ago. 

Drones hit an airport in the Pskov region, which borders Estonia and Latvia, starting a massive fire, Pskov regional Governor Mikhail Vedernikov reported on Wednesday.

British defense officials said last week that strikes on airbases may have come from within Russian territory, following the targeting of a Russian Tu-22M3 bomber in the Novgorod oblast, located hundreds of miles from the Ukrainian border.

More drones hit Oryol, Bryansk, Ryazan, Kaluga and Moscow regions, according to the country’s military. 

Russia said Ukrainian drones had also tried to attack a TV tower over the Bryansk region.

Ukraine has not said it was involved in the latest attack but it rarely comments on attacks inside Russia.

In recent weeks the country is believed to have increased its use of explosive drones to attack targets inside Russia.
Russia’s Tass news agency reported that airspace above Moscow’s Vnukovo airport had been closed.

The planes are used to transport military equipment and troops to the war zone.

The strikes included a direct hit on the military unit of the 2nd brigade of the GRU military intelligence special forces which was engulfed in fire, according to pro-war Russian source Romanov Light.

Russia’s 334th Transport Aviation Regiment, which is armed with Il-76 planes, is stationed at the Pskov airfield.

Local media reported a nearby oil depot was also damaged in last night’s attack that was over 500 km from Ukraine.

“The defence ministry is repelling a drone attack on Pskov’s airport,” Pskov regional governor Mikhail Vedernikov said on Telegram.

Mr Vedernikov, who said he was at the scene of the attack, added: “According to preliminary information, there are no victims.”

An initial report from Russia’s Tass news agency, quoting emergency services, said that four Ilyushin 76 (Il-76) aircraft had been damaged with two bursting “into flames”. Ria news agency said later that two Il-76 planes had caught fire.

Pskov region was previously targeted by drones in late May.

A drone attack on Russia’s Belgorod region killed three people last week, hours after a drone hit central Moscow, Russian officials said.

It came just days after a flagship Russian long-range bomber was destroyed in a Ukrainian drone strike near the city of St Petersburg.

Although Ukraine has not said it carried out specific drone strikes, President Volodymyr Zelensky has previously said that attacks on Russian territory are an “inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process” as the war with Russia continues.

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