Moscow accuses Ukraine of repeatedly attempting drone strikes deep inside Russian territory

(CNN) Russia’s Defense Ministry made the accusation on Tuesday Ukraine Russia has attempted to launch drone strikes near the capital, targeting infrastructure deep inside Russia, after authorities abruptly closed the airspace above the country’s second-largest city after a fire at an oil depot.

Moscow Region Governor Andrey Vorobyov said the Ukrainian drone crashed near the village of Kubastovo, southeast of the capital. The drone was aimed at what he called “civilian infrastructure,” which was later confirmed to be a gas facility operated by state-owned company Gazprom.

The facility was undamaged, state media reported, citing the region’s energy ministry.

State media later released a photo of what it said was a malfunctioning device that appeared to resemble a Ukrainian-made UJ-22 attack drone.

The UJ-22 is relatively small and versatile, able to fly through bad weather and travel up to 500 miles (800 kilometers). It is not clear when or where the photo of the crashed drone was taken.

The crash is said to be one of several attempted attacks, with state media reporting that a drone was shot down near the border with Belarus and two other attacks foiled by the Defense Ministry using drone-jamming technology in the Krasnodar and Adygea regions.

“Both drones lost control and deviated from their flight path,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement. “One UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) fell in a field, while another UAV veered off course and did not harm the civilian infrastructure that was hit.”

At least one drone appeared to have evaded Russian security, with footage posted on social media overnight by CNN showing a fire at energy company Rosneft’s oil depot in Tuapse, on the Black Sea coast of Krasnodar.

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It is not clear if the facility was the intended target, but Ukraine is Previously targeted oil depots Within the territory of Russian control.

CNN could not independently confirm the claims of each attack, and Ukraine did not immediately comment on the incident. Ukraine has refused to comment on attacks inside Russia.

Following the alleged attacks, Russia’s second-largest city, St. Petersburg, closed a 200-kilometer (124-mile) radius of its airspace on Tuesday, briefly banning incoming flights, state media reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was informed of the closures — but Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to discuss whether they were related to the “incidents in St. Petersburg and Tuapse,” state media reported.

December strike

Attacks targeting Russian infrastructure have focused on Ukraine’s efforts to develop long-range combat drones.

In early December, Russia announced Several attacks by Ukrainian drones Targeting military infrastructure, including air bases located hundreds of miles inside Russian territory and beyond Ukraine’s border Announced as an arsenal of drones.

At the same time, Ukraine’s state-owned arms manufacturer Ukroboronprom indicated that it was close to completing work on a new long-range drone — with no public indication that such a device was ready for deployment or involved explosions inside. Russia.

At the time, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry did not comment on the strikes — a presidential adviser tweeted hinting at the possibility that Kyiv might actually have been behind the December attack.

“The Earth is spherical — a discovery made by Galileo. Astronomy was not studied in the Kremlin, court astrologers were given priority. If it was, they would know: if something is launched into the airspace of other countries, sooner or later unknown flying objects return to the place of departure,” he said then.

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CNN’s Vasco Godovio, Ulyana Pavlova and Anna Chernova contributed to this report.

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