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State news agency TASS cited reports that four Ilyushin Il-76 heavy transport planes were damaged in the drone attack.
Russian transport aircraft have been reported damaged in a drone attack on an airport in Russia’s western city of Pskov – located near the borders of Latvia and Estonia – where explosions, a large blaze and gunfire were reported, a local official and state media said.
Russia’s state-run TASS news agency, quoting emergency services, said early on Wednesday morning that four Il-76 heavy transport aircraft, which have long been the workhorse of the Russian military, were damaged at the airfield in Pskov, located roughly 800km (some 500 miles) from the border with Ukraine.
“The defence ministry is repelling a drone attack in Pskov’s airport,” the regional Governor Mikhail Vedernikov said on the Telegram messaging app, posting a video of a large fire, with sounds of explosions and sirens in the background.
Vedernikov, who was at the scene of the attack, said that “according to preliminary information, there are no victims”.
The scale of the damage to the airport was being assessed, he said.
Video footage posted on social media, reportedly from the airport, showed thick black smoke rising over the airport with local residents reporting hearing loud explosions and gunfire.
Reports on Telegram channels said anti-aircraft systems were in action around the Russian city, which is located close to EU member countries Latvia and Estonia.
Russian media report a drone attack on an airfield in Pskov, Russia. It hosts both civilian and military aircraft. Some sources report that at least two military aircraft were destroyed. pic.twitter.com/YANZ0r1Vzy
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) August 29, 2023
Flights were limited in the Pskov region and airspace around Moscow’s Vnukovo airport was also closed briefly early on Wednesday, TASS reported, citing Russian aviation officials. The airport in Moscow was ordered closed amid reports that Russia’s military was repelling a drone attack on Pskov airport, the news agency reported.
Russia’s military also said early on Wednesday that it had downed Ukrainian drones over Russia’s southern Bryansk region and over the central Orlov and Ryazan regions.
The Pskov region previously came under drone attack in late May when two armed drones caused an explosion that left an oil pipeline’s administrative building damaged, the regional governor said at the time.
Russia’s capital Moscow and other regions in the country have come under near-daily raids by Ukrainian drones in recent weeks amid a warning by Kyiv that the war on Ukraine would “return” to Russia.