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St Petersburg's Pulkovo airport closed, Russian authorities report downed drone

Saturday, 2 March 2024, 22:21
St Petersburg's Pulkovo airport closed, Russian authorities report downed drone
Downing of a drone near St Petersburg. Photo: Drozdenko on Telegram

St Petersburg's Pulkovo airport was closed for about an hour for arrivals and departures while Russian authorities reported a drone shot down over the Gulf of Finland on the evening of 2 February. 

Source: Russian Radio Liberty; Fontanka

Details: Pulkovo airport was closed for about an hour for arriving and departing aircraft – the so-called carpet plan [all civilian aircraft, except military and rescue aircraft, must immediately land or leave the zone – ed.] was introduced to ensure the safety of civilian flights.

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According to Fontanka, residents of the city of Lomonosov (part of St Petersburg) complained in local public spaces on Saturday evening about loud rumbling and explosions in the area of the Bronka port. One of the residents wrote that "some kind of missile fell apart into five pieces". Eyewitnesses reported that "houses shook and windows rattled" in the villages of Dubochki and Lebiazhe near the Gulf of Finland. There were also reports of fire in the sky.

Later, Aleksandr Drozdenko, the governor of Leningrad Oblast, wrote in his Telegram channel that "air targets" had been shot down over the Gulf of Finland by air defence systems, and posted a video of an object being destroyed in the sky, which he later replaced with a screenshot. According to Baza, the video was without blur and clearly showed the missile's flight path and the terrain.

The Russian Ministry of Defence subsequently reported that air defence systems "destroyed a Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle over the territory of Leningrad Oblast". It was not reported whether any damage was done to the facilities on the ground.

Background:

On Saturday night, a loud explosion was heard in St Petersburg: A drone was shot down by Russian air defence. According to Russian journalists, an air defence system damaged a  high-rise building and smashed windows. According to the city health committee, six people sought medical assistance and one woman was hospitalised.

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