A drone attack has struck Pskov airport in northwestern Russia, damaging two Russian military transport planes. Video footage from the scene shows large fires and plumes of black smoke rising from the tarmac where two Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft appear to have been directly hit.
The attack took place earlier today in Pskov, which is located over 600km from the Ukrainian border, near Estonia. While Ukraine did not claim responsibility for the strike, it has increasingly utilized drones in recent weeks to carry out audacious attacks deep inside Russian territory.
According to Russian media reports, the regional governor confirmed the airport was under attack but said there were no reported casualties so far. Russia has closed airspace over Moscow and tightened security at key sites in response to the escalating Ukrainian drone threat.
This marks the latest in a series of Ukrainian drone strikes targeting strategic Russian military sites far from the frontlines. Just last week, a Ukrainian drone strike destroyed a Russian bomber near St. Petersburg. Earlier attacks this week killed three people in western Russia.
The strikes demonstrate Ukraine’s expanding ability to penetrate Russian defences and strike areas previously thought to be secure in retaliation for Moscow’s invasion, now in its seventh month.
Ukraine has vowed to continue targeting high-value Russian military assets. President Volodymyr Zelensky has stated that such attacks on Russian territory are an “inevitable, natural and absolutely fair” process as the war continues.
Meanwhile, Russia’s military says it has destroyed four Ukrainian boats carrying around 50 soldiers in an operation on the Black Sea around midnight Moscow time. The Russian military also claims it downed three Ukrainian drones over the Bryansk region and one drone over Oryol.
As Ukraine steps up its long-range drone and missile campaign, Russia has been forced to divert resources to defend areas deeper inside its territory. The attacks have revealed vulnerabilities in Russia’s air defences, striking sites like military bases, infrastructure and energy facilities.
Analysts say Ukraine’s new ability to hit Russian targets far from the front lines aims to undermine support for the war among the Russian public. The strikes also disrupt Russia’s ability to supply its troops in southern and eastern Ukraine.
In retaliation for the Ukrainian drone strikes, Russia has intensified its missile and rocket attacks on vital Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, including power plants, water facilities, and transportation links. But Ukraine’s willingness to take the fight inside Russia shows its determination to go on the offensive as the war drags on.
With no end in sight, the conflict has become a grinding war of attrition. Ukraine’s drone strikes and Russia’s missile attacks on Ukrainian cities demonstrate that both sides are still capable of inflicting significant damage on the other despite months of heavy losses.
As winter approaches, the attacks and counterattacks show neither Russia nor Ukraine is backing down. Military experts warn the latest phase of the war could stretch both sides’ resources and logistic capabilities as they seek to gain momentum amid an otherwise static frontline.