Two Ukrainian news outlets reported Tuesday that Ukrainian saboteurs were responsible for attacks on Saturday and Monday that destroyed two Russian bombers and damaged two other aircraft at two airbases deep inside Russia.
The attacks took place on Saturday at the Soltsy air base in northwestern Russia, 700 kilometers north of the Ukrainian border, and on Monday at the Shaikovka air base about 300 kilometers northeast of the Ukrainian border. The Associated Press could not independently verify the claims on the ground.
However, the Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged that the attack on Soltsy damaged one aircraft, the AP reported. It didn't comment on the reported attack on Shaikovka, but Russian media did.
Satellite images from Planet Labs analyzed by the AP showed what appeared to be 10 Tupolev Tu-22M long-range bombers parked at the Soltsy air base on August 16. By Monday, two days after the attack, all of the bombers had left the air base. A large black spot was visible where one of the Tupolevs had been parked.
Photos purporting to be from the Soltsy air base and published by Russian and Ukrainian media showed a Russian Tu-22M bomber ablaze there after the attack.
Russian artillery kills three
Elsewhere, Russian artillery killed three people in eastern Ukraine Tuesday, local authorities said late Tuesday.
Two villages near the city of Lyman were hit, killing two women and a man, ages 63 to 88. The three were sitting together on a bench when the shelling hit.
Separately, four people were injured in an attack using two explosive drones in a village in northeastern Ukraine near the Russian border, military officials said.
Earlier Tuesday, Russia said its air defenses shot down Ukrainian drones over the Moscow region and the Bryansk area along the border between the two countries.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the attack in the Moscow area involved two drones and that there was no reported damage.
Moscow's mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, said on Telegram that one drone was downed in the Krasnogorsk area on the northwestern side of Moscow and the other in the Chastsy area west of the city.
Reuters said there was some minor damage to a high-rise residential building in Krasnogorsk and that falling debris had damaged some cars on the ground.
The Russian Defense Ministry said two Ukrainian drones brought down by jamming systems over Bryansk crashed without causing any casualties.
Moscow airports suspend flights
The Ukrainian aerial attacks prompted Moscow airports to suspend flights, a step that has been taken in response to drone attacks in the Russian capital region in previous days.
Russia also said Sukhoi jets destroyed a Ukrainian reconnaissance boat operating in the area of Russian gas production facilities in the Black Sea. A Defense Ministry statement did not give further details on the incident, including exactly where it took place.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.