A combat drone dropped explosives on an electricity substation in a Russian village near the border with Ukraine, while Russia’s Ministry of Defence reported shooting down more than a dozen Ukrainian drones over the Russian regions of Belgorod, Kursk and Kaluga.
In the Russian village of Belaya, located less than 25km (16 miles) from the border, “a Ukrainian drone dropped two explosive devices on a substation”, Kursk regional governor Roman Starovoyt said on the Telegram messaging app early on Friday.
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“One of the transformers caught fire. Five settlements and a hospital were cut off from power supply. Fire crews rushed to the scene,” he said.
“Power will be restored as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Russian authorities said earlier that two Ukrainian drones were destroyed over the neighbouring Belgorod region.
The Defence Ministry in Moscow said the first drone was “thwarted” at about 5pm local time (14:00 GMT) on Thursday. A second drone was brought down about four hours later.
Russia’s state-run TASS news agency later reported, citing Russia’s Defence Ministry, that 10 Ukrainian drones were brought down over the Kursk region overnight and one over the Kaluga region.
Ukraine has intensified its attacks on Russian territory in recent weeks, with regions of the country now regularly subject to waves of Ukrainian drone attacks that have sporadically damaged buildings, including in Moscow.
While Russian officials have downplayed their significance, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterated this week that attacks on targets in Russia would increase.
“We clearly see the areas where pressure on Russia needs to be increased so that terrorist capabilities do not grow,” he said in his nightly address on Tuesday.
“Sanctions are not enough. There will be more. There will be more of our own – Ukrainian actions against the terrorist state. As long as Russia’s aggression continues, Russia’s losses must be tangible,” he said.