Three injured in Russia’s downing of a Ukrainian drone south of Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s air defenses stopped an attack by a Ukrainian drone on a Russian town on Sunday, in which three people were wounded and residential buildings were damaged, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Kiev did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It has previously denied Russian assertions that its drones – also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) – have flown into Russian territory and damaged civilian infrastructure.

The Defense Ministry statement said the attack on the town of Kirievsk in the Tula region, 220 km south of Moscow, involved a Ukrainian Tu-141 Strizh drone.

“An electronic unit of the Polye-21 type took measures against the Ukrainian drone, as a result of which its navigation system stopped working,” the ministry’s statement said.

“The plane lost control of its direction and crashed near the town of Kirievsk in the Tula region,” he added.

The Tass news agency quoted local officials as saying that three people were injured in the accident, but there were no serious injuries. It added that five private homes were damaged.

A representative of the local emergency services told TASS news agency that the blast, which occurred at around 3.20pm (1220GMT), left a large crater in the heart of Kirievsk.

Pictures and videos on social media showed a muddy crater near a building with severely damaged roof and walls. Fragments of broken window glass were strewn across the stairs of a nearby apartment building.

Reuters could not immediately verify the photos.

Russia had previously reported drone attacks in several towns and cities, some hundreds of kilometers from its border with Ukraine.

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Three members of the Russian Air Force were killed on December 26 when a drone believed to be Ukrainian was shot down at the main Russian strategic bomber base near the city of Saratov after it had flown hundreds of kilometers through Russian airspace.

(Reuters reporting) Editing by Gareth Jones and Ron Popeski

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