Russian air defences shot down three Ukrainian drones flying over the Russian regions of Tula and Belgorod, the Ministry of Defence has reported, in the latest attempted attacks on targets inside Russian territory.
Two drones “were destroyed” by air defences over the Tula region south of Moscow, the defence ministry said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app early on Tuesday morning.
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Another drone was “destroyed by air defence forces” over the Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, at about 11pm Moscow time (20:00 GMT) on Monday, the ministry said in a separate statement.
The ministry did not say whether there had been damage or casualties as a result of the drone raids.
Moscow and other Russian regions have been hit by a barrage of Ukrainian drone attacks in recent weeks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy saying late last month that the war would be returning to Russia.
“Gradually, the war is returning to the territory of Russia – to its symbolic centres and military bases, and this is an inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process,” he said at the time.
Ukrainian drones repeatedly raided Russian territory last week, leading to multiple temporary suspensions of flights at Moscow’s three main airports – Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo.
The defence ministry also reported on Monday that two Russian jet fighters were scrambled to intercept two United States reconnaissance drones that were on a flight path over the Black Sea.
According to the ministry, the two US drones, a Reaper and a Global Hawk, were “carrying out aerial reconnaissance in the region of the Crimean peninsula”, near the Black Sea.
After the arrival of the Russian warplanes, the drones “changed their direction of flight and left the areas where aerial reconnaissance was being conducted”, the ministry added.
On Sunday, Russia said it had scrambled a fighter plane to deter a US Air Force reconnaissance drone from crossing its borders over the Black Sea.