Russian officials said Friday that air defenses intercepted drones heading toward three of the country's western regions, while satellite images indicated that a major drone barrage earlier in the week destroyed at least two Ilyushin Il-76 military transport planes at a Russian air base.
Regional governors said defense systems stopped three drones in the Kursk, Belgorod and Moscow regions.
Moscow airports briefly halted flights but no major damage or injuries were reported, according to Russian authorities.
Drones aimed at targets inside Russia — and blamed by Moscow on Ukraine — have become almost a daily occurrence as the war has entered its 19th month and Kyiv's forces pursue a counteroffensive. Recently, the drones have reached deeper into Russia.
Kyiv officials normally neither claim nor deny responsibility for attacks on Russian soil.
The apparent Ukrainian strategy is to unnerve Russia and pile pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Associated Press was unable to determine whether the drones are launched from Ukraine or inside Russia.
Meanwhile, satellite images analyzed by AP show that suspected Ukrainian drone attacks late Tuesday destroyed at least two Ilyushin Il-76 military transport planes at a Russian air base.
The images taken Thursday show Princess Olga Pskov International Airport, which is a dual military-civilian airport about 700 kilometers (400 miles) north of the…