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On Tuesday, Russia came under attack by multiple drones, with one reportedly setting an oil depot on fire in the southern region of the country and another striking outside Moscow.
The oil facility is in Tuapse, which is 150 miles southeast of the Crimean peninsula. The fire reportedly broke out overnight after a drone was seen flying overhead. Tuapse is approximately 500 kilometers from the nearest Ukrainian territory, which indicates a fairly significant reach if the UAV was launched by Ukraine.
The flames at the oil depot started at 2:30 a.m. and were extinguished after they had spread to an area of 200 square meters. According to a local official, Sergei Boyko, “The oil tanks were not affected. There was no spill of oil products. No injuries.”
Another drone crashed near Moscow the same day a drone started the Tuapse fire. According to Moscow region Governor Andrei Vorobyov, the crashed drone was most likely targeting civilian infrastructure.
“This happened near the village of Gubastovo, the target was probably a civilian infrastructure facility, it was not damaged. There are no casualties or destruction on the ground,” Vorobyov said on his Telegram channel.
Vorobyov added, “The FSB and other competent authorities are dealing with the situation, nothing threatens the safety of residents.”
According to unverified reports from the Moscow Times, the Moscow drone was a Ukrainian UJ-22 Airborne manufactured by Ukrjet.
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The Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement saying that there was another drone attack in southern Russia around the same time as the attack on the oil depot.
According to the statement, drone attacks in the Krasnodar and Adygea regions were “suppressed” and failed to cause any damage. However, the statement was released after reports from Russian state news agencies had reported a fire at an oil depot in Krasnodar after a drone was seen flying overhead. Krasnodar is about 240 kilometers southeast of the Crimean peninsula.
The Defense Ministry’s statement said, “The Kyiv regime attempted to use unmanned aerial vehicles to attack civilian infrastructure in the Krasnodar region and the Adygea Republic.”
“The UAVs were neutralized by electronic warfare units,” the statement added.
It is possible that there was also a drone incident in the border region of Belgorod. According to local media reports, the possible strike in the Belgorod region forced an apartment building to evacuate in the middle of the night after one of allegedly 4 drones crashed into the building. Another drone reportedly landed on the roof of a supermarket nearby and exploded.
There have been reports of an additional potential drone attack in St. Petersburg, where its Pulkovo Airport grounded flights and authorities shut down the surrounding airspace in response to an “unidentified flying object” seen in the region.
While it is difficult to estimate the total number of drones involved in the overnight assault, it is estimated that there could have been as many as half a dozen or a dozen, possibly even more, inbound drones headed to various Russian cities overnight.
The mass drone strikes come after a year of sporadic alleged sabotage attacks and drone strikes on strategic Russian military bases and other facilities by Ukrainian forces and their allies.
According to an investigative report by a U.S. special forces veteran that was published last December, the CIA has allegedly been behind many of the covert sabotage operations that have happened over the past year in Russian territory.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently told the UN that he sees the war in Ukraine as a battle for survival for Russians against Ukraine and its Western allies.
While none of the drone strikes allegedly caused any serious damage, they weakened the impression of Russia as an untouchable enemy and showed the growing strength of the Ukrainian military with the support of its Western allies.
As China pushes for peace talks between the two countries, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned of what would happen if a peace agreement cannot be reached and Ukraine loses the war.
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