In the early hours of Wednesday, the Russian city of Pskov’s local airport found itself at the centre of a dramatic drone assault. As defence forces grappled with counteracting this unforeseen threat, the incident ignited significant concern, prompting immediate responses from regional authorities.
The Onset of the Attack
Mikhail Vedernikov, the regional governor, quickly apprised the public about the situation through his Telegram channel. He revealed the defence ministry’s efforts in battling the drone offensive targeting Pskov’s airport. Witnesses took to social media, sharing alarming footage that captured thick plumes of black smoke enveloping the airport’s airspace.
Vedernikov, ensuring his on-ground presence from the incident’s inception, relayed: “As of now, initial reports suggest that there have been no casualties. Hoe is currently gauging the full extent of the damage.”
As conveyed by the TASS news agency, preliminary information from emergency services indicated that four Il-76 transport planes stationed at the airport sustained damage during the ordeal. In a swift administrative response, Russian authorities temporarily closed the region’s airspace to mitigate further risks.
The Defence Ministry, quoted by RIA Novosti, pointed fingers at the Kyiv regime, suggesting it was an orchestrated effort to perpetrate a terrorist strike on Russian assets using aircraft-type UAVs. However, the diligent actions of the defence forces ensured the threat was neutralized. The ministry highlighted the interception of three UAVs in the Bryansk region and another in the Oryol region.
While local sources like the Russian outlet Readovka estimated that around 15 Ukrainian drones aimed at the airport were successfully intercepted, including some with ground fire, the exact details remain a matter of further investigation.
Strategic Importance of Pskov
The city of Pskov holds geographical significance, roughly 700 kilometres from Ukraine. Its proximity to NATO member Estonia (a mere 30 kilometres away) and Latvia (around 60 kilometres to the southwest) further emphasizes its strategic value.
Subsequent reports from TASS disclosed disruptions in the airspace over Moscow’s Vnukovo airport, though normalcy was restored shortly after. This wave of drone attacks is not an isolated incident for Pskov, as the region encountered a similar UAV threat in May.
The escalating drone offensives targeting Moscow and various Russian locales come on the heels of Kyiv’s declaration earlier this summer, indicating a resolution to intensify conflict dynamics with Russia.