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More than 400 miles away Major fire and damaged warplanes reported at Russian airfield in Pskov, far from Ukrainian border

Source: Meduza

The Princess Olga Pskov Airport Pskov-Kresty came under drone attacks overnight on Wednesday, Governor Mikhail Vedernikov confirmed on Telegram, as the military still defended the airfield: “Since the incident started, I’ve personally been on the ground. According to preliminary information, no one has been hurt. The scale of the damage is still being clarified,” the governor reported. Pskov is more than 400 miles north of Russia’s nearest border with Ukraine.

Local residents say they heard explosions and automatic gunfire, reported the local news outlet Pskovskaya Gubernia (one of the first to write about the explosions near the airfield). According to various sources, 10–20 drones attacked the base, as Russian soldiers tried to shoot them down with small firearms. At the time of this writing, Russia’s Defense Ministry has yet to comment on the attacks. 

According to preliminary reports, four Il-76 military-transport aircraft were damaged in the attacks, writes the state news agency TASS, citing local emergency services. (The Telegram channel Baza initially reported that two aircraft were damaged, though the nature of the damage was unknown, the outlet said). Russia’s 334th Transport Aviation Regiment, which is armed with Il-76 airlifters, is stationed at the Pskov airfield.

One of the drones reportedly struck a refueling complex on the base grounds, causing a large fire. The Telegram channel Mash shared a video that shows thick black smoke rising over the city of Pskov. The Telegram channel Shot said that a fuel tank had caught fire but later reported that it had been extinguished. 

Following the first drone strikes, the city of Pskov, the Pskov region, and other nearby provinces suspended all air traffic, Mash reports. Russia’s aviation services told TASS that the Pskov region’s airspace was subject to flight restrictions. The Pskov airfield did not have any civilian flights scheduled for Wednesday night. 

According to various outlets, the attacks’ intended target may have been an oil depot located near the Pskov airfield or the Cheryokhinskaya Military Base, where Russia’s 104th Guards Air Assault Regiment is stationed. (This regiment took part in the occupation of Bucha at the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.)

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