[Source: The Moscow Times]
Russian air defences halted a Ukrainian drone attack on a Russian town in which three people were hurt and apartment blocks were damaged, the Russian Defence Ministry said.
Kyiv did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It has previously denied Russian assertions that its drones – also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) – have flown into Russian territory and caused damage to civilian infrastructure.
The Defence Ministry statement said the attack on the town of Kireyevsk, in Tula region 220 km (140 miles) south of Moscow, involved a Ukrainian Tu-141 Strizh drone.
“A Polye-21 electronic unit took action against the Ukrainian drone, and as a result its navigation system was taken out of action,” the ministry statement said.
“The drone lost its directional command and fell near the town of Kireyevsk in Tula region.”
Tass news agency quoted local officials as saying three people were hurt in the incident, but there were no serious injuries. It said five private homes were damaged.
The blast, which occurred at around 3.20 pm (1220 GMT), caused a large crater in the heart of Kireyevsk, a local emergency services representative told TASS.
Social media videos and pictures showed a muddy crater near a building with its roof and walls heavily damaged. Shards of glass from broken windows spread across the stairwell of a nearby apartment block.
Reuters could not immediately verify the images.
Russia has previously reported drone attacks in several towns and cities, some of them hundreds of kilometres (miles) from its border with Ukraine.
Three Russian air force personnel died on Dec. 26 when a drone believed to be Ukrainian was shot down at the main base for Russia’s strategic bombers near the city of Saratov after flying hundreds of kilometres through Russian airspace.