TheVoiceOfJoyce Confirmation of drone sightings, in St Petersburg, flights grounded. Possible destruction of oil depots in Southern Russia. Hacking of Russian radio broadcasts, also confirmed. Ukrainian Counteroffensive?

Russia’s Pulkovo airport in St Petersburg temporarily suspended all flights on Tuesday amid unconfirmed media reports of an unidentified object such as a drone being seen nearby. Some flights were diverted back to Moscow while the airport was shut for around an hour. Russia’s ministry of defence later announced there had been a training exercise between air defences and civilian aviation authorities.

Emergency services put out a fire at an oil depot in southern Russia overnight after a drone was spotted flying overhead, the RIA news agency said on Tuesday. The fire in the Russian town of Tuapse, Krasnador, was reported at 2.30am local time and spread to an area of about 200 sq metres before it was extinguished. “The oil tanks were not affected. There was no spill of oil products. No injuries,” said Sergei Boyko, who leads the local administration.

The Russian ministry of defence has stated that it foiled two attempted Ukrainian attacks on Russian soil using drones overnight. It said “28 February, at night, the Kyiv regime attempted to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to attack civilian infrastructure in the Krasnodar territory and the Republic of Adygea.”

A drone that was downed in the Moscow region had probably been intended to attack civil infrastructure, according to the region’s governor. The drone was downed on Tuesday near a gas distribution station close to the city of Kolomna, 110km (70 miles) south-east of Moscow, the Russian state-run Ria Novosti news agency reported, citing local emergency services.

A hacking attack caused some Russian regional broadcasters to put out a false warning on Tuesday urging people to take shelter from an incoming missile attack, the emergencies ministry said. “As a result of the hacking of servers of radio stations and TV channels, in some regions of the country information about the announcement of an air alert was broadcast. This information is false and does not correspond to reality”. A similar attack caused commercial radio stations in some Russian regions to send air alarm messages on Wednesday 22 February.

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