Two dead as Russia says it downed 50 Ukrainian drones overnight

Damage in Russia's Belgorod region following a drone strike. Photo:  Vyacheslav Gladkov

Damage in Russia's Belgorod region following a drone strike. Photo: Vyacheslav Gladkov

Authorities in Russia’s western Belgorod region said that two people had been killed by a Ukrainian drone strike on Friday evening as Russia’s Defence Ministry reported on Saturday morning that it had downed 50 drones launched at eight Russian regions overnight.

Belgorod region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said that a woman recovering from a hip fracture and a man who had been taking care of her had been killed in a fire that broke out following the “dropping of two explosive devices” on the village of Poroz, which is on Russia’s border with Ukraine. The woman’s son, Gladkov added, had managed to “escape from the burning house at the last moment”.

Gladkov reported the deaths a few hours before Russia’s Defence Ministry said it had intercepted and destroyed 50 Ukrainian drones launched at the country overnight. Over half of the drones had been downed over the Belgorod region, the ministry’s statement said, as well as 10 over the Bryansk region, eight over the Kursk region, two over the Tula region and one each over the Smolensk, Ryazan, Kaluga and Moscow regions.

The drone attacks appeared to target power facilities across western Russia, with Kaluga region Governor Vladislav Shapsha reporting damage to an electricity substation and his Bryansk region counterpart Alexander Bogomaz saying that a fire had broken out at an “energy infrastructure object” after a downed drone fell on it.

Smolensk region Governor Vasily Anokhin said that falling debris from a downed drone had caused a fire at an oil depot in the Kardym district near the city of Smolensk, with footage published by local Telegram channels appearing to show a fire at what the person recording refers to as a Lukoil facility.

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