The Moscow region recently experienced a drone crash, which is believed to have been an attempt to target civilian infrastructure. Andrei Vorobyov, the regional governor, made this statement after the Russian defence ministry reported downing two Ukrainian drones in southern Russia. Ukraine has not accepted responsibility for any attacks inside Russia.
The crash occurred near the village of Gubastovo, located approximately 100 km (62 miles) from Moscow. Gazprom, a Russian energy giant, operates a facility in the area, but their operations were not interrupted. According to Vorobyov, the drone was likely targeting a civilian infrastructure facility, but no casualties or damage were reported.
Images of the drone show it to be a UJ-22 Airborne, a product of Ukrainian manufacturer Ukrjet. This model has a range of 800km, which is enough to reach the Kolomna area from Ukraine. Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs, posted a photo of the drone on Twitter with the caption that Putin may soon be afraid to show himself in public due to drones being able to reach far distances.
The attempted drone attack in Kolomna is the closest to the capital since Russia invaded Ukraine more than a year ago. The Russian defence ministry accused Kyiv of attempting to use drones “to attack civilian infrastructure in the Krasnodar region and the Adygea Republic”, which were neutralised by electronic warfare units. Ukraine has not confirmed any attacks on Russian military infrastructure during the war.
In December, a Ukrainian drone attack on an airbase for bombers in southern Russia left three people dead, according to Moscow. Ukraine did not officially admit to the attack, but air force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said the explosions were due to Russia’s actions on Ukrainian soil. A few weeks prior, Russia accused Ukraine of a similar attack on the same airfield.
In August, a series of blasts occurred at a military base in Crimea, which Ukraine later claimed responsibility for. In response to this and other incidents, President Vladimir Putin instructed the FSB to strengthen security in territories occupied by Russia in eastern Ukraine and to increase counterintelligence activity against Western special services.
On Tuesday, Russian fighter jets were involved in a training exercise in western airspace, shortly after airspace over St Petersburg was closed due to reports of an unidentified object. It remains unclear if this was related to the drone crash in the Moscow region.