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18 Jan, 2024 09:04

Ukrainian drone downed near St. Petersburg – MOD

The raid targeted an oil terminal in the city but caused no casualties or damage, local media have reported
Ukrainian drone downed near St. Petersburg – MOD

Russian armed forces have intercepted a Ukrainian drone over the St. Petersburg area, the Defense Ministry in Moscow has said. Local media has suggested that the raid – which appears to be the first to have reached the region around the northern Russian city – targeted an oil terminal.

In a statement in the early hours of Thursday, the ministry said the military had “thwarted an attempt by the Kiev regime to carry out a terrorist drone attack” on unnamed facilities in Russia. It added that one unmanned aircraft had been downed over Moscow Region. The capital’s mayor, Sergey Sobyanin, said that a drone had been destroyed over the Podolsk district on the southern outskirts of the city. There were no casualties or damage, Sobyanin added, citing preliminary information. A second drone was intercepted over Leningrad Region, the Defense Ministry said, without providing further details.

The SHOT Telegram channel reported that a Ukrainian drone loaded with 3kg of explosives had targeted an oil base in St. Petersburg. It claimed that debris from the drone had been found at the city's Crude Oil Loading Terminal Stock Company, although there were no casualties or damage. Shot described the UAV as a propeller-driven aircraft with a wingspan of six meters, suggesting that its fragments could be scattered across the Gulf of Finland.

The Mash Telegram channel claimed that the raid on St. Petersburg had actually involved two drones, one of which crashed on the ice not far from the city, while the other came down on the territory of a local port. The outlet also suggested it was impossible to determine the drones’ targets and their payloads as they had been completely destroyed.

Kiev has routinely launched missile and drone strikes into Russia amid the conflict between the two countries, although attacks on targets as far away as Leningrad Region – around 1,000km from the Ukrainian border – are rarer. Last summer, Ukraine targeted Russian airfields in Pskov and Novgorod regions – both several hundred kilometers from St. Petersburg — damaging several aircraft, according to local officials.