A factory that manufactures Kh-59 cruise missiles in western Russia was struck by multiple drones over the weekend, Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence agency (GUR) said on Monday.
Three out of four drones struck the Smolensk Aviation Plant on Sunday, causing significant damage and disrupting production of the rockets, the GUR said in a statement on its Telegram channel. The city of Smolensk is roughly 250 miles west of Moscow, near Russia’s border with its ally Belarus.
The GUR added that the Kh-59 missile is one of the most frequently used missiles that the Russian Aerospace Forces deploy to fire at military and civilian targets in Ukraine.
“Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions suffer the most from the use of such weapons,” the intelligence agency said.
Russian independent news outlet Agentstvo first reported on Sunday that the missile factory had been struck, saying it had analyzed videos published by eyewitnesses.
A video shared by the publication on Sunday showed what appeared to be a drone falling above the factory. An explosion can be heard accompanied by a flash of light.
The Russian Defense Ministry (MOD) had published a statement claiming the “interception” of all drones in Smolensk, while the region’s head said there were no casualties or destruction.
At around 9 a.m. on Sunday, the Russian MOD said that air defense systems destroyed three Ukrainian drones over Smolensk. Shortly later, it said that a further two drones were destroyed over the region.
“Ukrainian Armed Forces have tried to carry out several terrorist attacks on the Smolensk region using UAVs. In total, 5 aircraft-type unmanned aerial vehicles were suppressed by air defense and electronic warfare forces of the Ministry of Defense over Smolensk and its suburbs,” Vasily Anokhin, acting governor of Smolensk said on his Telegram channel on Sunday.
“There were no casualties or damage. Emergency services are on site,” he added.
The Kyiv Independent reported Sunday that the missile factory is operated by Russia’s state-owned Tactical Missile Armament corporation.
The Kh-59 is an air-to-ground missile developed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s, and has a range of up to 280 kilometers (173 miles), the GUR said.
Source : Newsweek