Russia state media have claimed a drone caused an explosion in a Russian town hundreds of miles from the Ukrainian border, injuring three people
The blast happened in the centre of Kireyevsk, in Tula Oblast, about 140 miles south of Moscow and 260 miles from the nearest point in Ukraine. It reportedly damaged three residential buildings and left a crater in the town centre.
Reuters reported that Tass news agency, a Russian state-owned media outlet, claimed the explosion was caused by a Ukrainian-operated Tupolev Tu-141 Strizh drone.
Kyiv has not yet commented on the incident.
Moscow has previously claimed that Ukrainian drones have flown into its territory and caused damage to civilian infrastructure, but Kyiv has denied the accusations.
“The cause of the explosion in the Tula region was a tactical reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV),” reported Tass, citing a law enforcement source.
It said that two people, born in 2002 and 2006, had been left with shrapnel wounds, citing a local emergency services official. “There is a crater. This explosion was in the heart of the city,” the official added.
Reuters reported that videos and pictures had emerged on social media showing a muddy crater near a heavily damaged building, but said it could not immediately verify the images.
Russia has renewed its own drone strike campaign, with at least 71 Iranian-made kamikaze drones launched this month, according to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The attacks restarted after a two-week pause, suggesting that “Russia has likely started receiving regular resupplies of small numbers” of the Shahed drones, the MoD said on Sunday. Moscow was likely to be launching the drones from two axes: Russia’s Krasnodar Krai just east ofUkraine and Bryansk Oblast to the north
“This allows Russia flexibility to target a broad sector of Ukraine and decreases flying time to targets in the north of Ukraine. It is also likely to be a further attempt to stretch Ukrainian air defences,” the MoD added.
Meanwhile, Nato has condemned Russia for its “dangerous and irresponsible” nuclear rhetoric after Vladimir Putin said he would install tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.
“Nato is vigilant, and we are closely monitoring the situation. We have not seen any changes in Russia’s nuclear posture that would lead us to adjust our own,” said a Nato spokesperson said on Sunday.
“Russia’s reference to Nato’s nuclear sharing is totally misleading. Nato allies act with full respect of their international commitments. Russia has consistently broken its arms control commitments, most recently suspending its participation in the New START treaty” – a nuclear arms reduction treaty between Russia and the US.