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Ukrainian drones strike six Russian regions, destroy planes at airfield

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KYIV: Ukrainian drones struck targets in at least six regions deep within Russia on Wednesday, including an airfield where they destroyed military transport planes, in one of the broadest volleys yet of Kyiv's campaign to turn the tables on Moscow.

Russian officials described attacks on targets in the Pskov, Bryansk, Kaluga, Orlov, Ryazan and Moscow regions. The Russian foreign ministry said the attacks would "not go unpunished" and the drones could not have reached so far into Russian territory without Western help.

In Pskov, in northern Russia more than 600 km from Ukraine, a huge fire erupted at a military airfield that garrisons elite paratroopers. Tass news agency reported at least four giant Il-76 transport planes were damaged, two of which had "burst into flames".

The attacks coincided with Russia's most severe air strikes on Ukraine's capital for months. Authorities in Kyiv reported at least two people had been killed as debris from intercepted missiles fell in four locations.

In Russia, the governor of Pskov posted video on Telegram showing a huge fire with the sounds of sirens and an explosion at the air base.

Moscow said it had thwarted all the attacks on Russia. Russia typically describes all Ukrainian drone strikes as unsuccessful, regardless of the damage on the ground.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was working out where the drones were launched from to prevent further strikes. President Vladimir Putin had been informed immediately, as would be the case in any such "massive attacks", Peskov said.

Kyiv confirmed the Russian planes had been destroyed in Pskov, without commenting on the nature of the incident.

Ukraine's Western allies generally forbid Kyiv from using weapons they supply to attack Russia but say Kyiv has a right to carry out such strikes with its own weapons.

Among the other attacks in Russia, Moscow said Ukrainian drones had tried to attack a TV tower over the Bryansk region. No casualties were reported.

Moscow also said its aircraft had destroyed four Ukrainian fast-attack boats carrying up to 50 paratroopers on the Black Sea and its forces had repelled attacks by enemy drones. Reuters could not independently confirm this.

Attacks on Russia in recent weeks, including repeated drone strikes on central Moscow, have brought the war home to many Russians for the first time, even as Ukrainians have spent the past year and a half in constant peril from air strikes. — Reuters

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