Mar 01, 2023 12:45 UTC
  •  Putin orders tightening of Ukraine border as drones hit Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered officials to tighten security on the border with Ukraine, after several drones targeted areas deep inside the Russian territory.

Putin made the remarks during a speech at a meeting of the Federal Security Service (FSB) board in the capital Moscow on Tuesday, without referring to any specific attacks. However, his comments came hours after drones, which the Kremlin said were launched by Ukraine, hit several regions in southern and western Russia.

The drone strikes occurred on Monday and Tuesday night, with one crashing just 100 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of Moscow, while two others were brought down in southern Russia.

There were no reports of casualties.

Moscow regional governor Andrei Vorobyov said in a statement that the drone that fell near the village of Gubastovo did not cause any damage, but it likely targeted “a civilian infrastructure facility.”

Pictures of the drone showed it was a small Ukrainian-made model with a reported range of up to 800 kilometers (nearly 500 miles) but no capacity to carry a large load of explosives.

Aleksandr Bogomaz, governor of the southwestern region of Bryansk, also said in a Telegram post that Russian forces have shot down a Ukrainian drone early Tuesday, adding that there were no casualties in the incident.

Three drones also targeted Russia’s Belgorod region on Monday night with one flying through an apartment window in its capital, local authorities said.

Regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said the drones caused minor damage to buildings and cars but no casualties.

Russian authorities have also closed the airspace over the northern city of St Petersburg in response to what some reports said was a drone, while several Russian television stations aired a missile attack warning that officials blamed on hacking.

Russia's Defense Ministry also said Ukraine has used drones to attack facilities in the country's Krasnodar region and neighboring Adygea, adding that they were brought down by electronic warfare assets.

One of them crashed into a field and another diverted from its flight path and missed an infrastructure facility it was supposed to attack, the ministry said.

A fire broke out at an oil depot in Krasnodar, and some other Russian reports said that two drones exploded nearby, according to Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency.