- By Emily McGarvey
- BBC News
Russia’s defence ministry says it has thwarted a Ukrainian drone attack after it downed two drones over the Moscow region.
Two other drones were intercepted over the Bryansk region, north-east of the Ukrainian border, it added.
Flights were temporarily stopped to and from Moscow’s airports early on Tuesday, the ministry said.
Airspace above Moscow has been closed several times in recent days as reports of drone strikes become more regular.
The defence ministry also said a Russian warplane had destroyed a Ukrainian reconnaissance boat in the Black Sea that had sailed near Russian gas production facilities.
Early on Tuesday, Moscow’s Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Russian air defences had shot down two drones to the west of the capital in the Krasnogorsk and Shastsy districts.
No injuries were reported in the attacks and Ukraine has not commented.
Although Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for specific drone strikes, President Volodymyr Zelensky has previously said that attacks on Russian territory are an “inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process”.
Images posted on social media and analysed by BBC Verify show a Tupolev Tu-22 on fire at Soltsy-2 airbase, south of St Petersburg.
Moscow said that a drone was hit by small-arms fire but managed to “damage” a plane.
The Russian Tu-22 bomber that was destroyed can travel at twice the speed of sound and has been used extensively by Russia to attack cities in Ukraine.
Moscow’s defence ministry said in a statement that an attack by a “copter-type UAV” took place at around 10:00 Moscow time (08:00 BST) on Saturday.
It stated the location as “a military airfield in the Novgorod region”, where Soltsy-2 is situated.
“The UAV was detected by the airfield’s observation outpost and was hit with small-arms fire,” the ministry said.
“One airplane was damaged; there were no casualties as a result of the terrorist act.”
The statement also said a fire which broke out in the airfield parking lot was quickly extinguished.
However, images posted on the social media platform Telegram showed a large fire engulfing a jet with the distinctive nose cone of the Tu-22. BBC Verify analysed the images and believes them to be credible.
Over recent months dozens of fixed-wing unmanned aircraft have attacked Russia’s capital.
Moscow has blamed Kyiv for the attacks. Ukraine rarely takes responsibility for incidents or strikes that take place within Russian territory.