Russia says Ukraine launched drone attacks on Kursk region

(Reuters) – Ukraine launched drone attacks on the Kursk region of Russia overnight from Sunday to Monday, with the Russian defence ministry saying its forces had shot down two drones after midnight on Monday.

The drone attack on the Kursk region, which borders Ukraine to its west, began around 1 a.m. Monday (2200 GMT Sunday), the defence ministry said on the Telegram messaging app.

This followed a report Sunday evening by the governor of the Kursk region, Roman Starovoit, that debris from a downed drone sparked a fire at a non-residential building in the city of Kurchatov.

One of Russia’s biggest nuclear plants is about 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) from Kurchatov, but there were no reports the plant was affected or targeted.

Starovoit did not say which building was damaged in the Sunday evening drone attack, but Russia’s Baza news outlet, which has good sources among law enforcement agencies, said drone debris fell on the roof of the security services building.

The full extent of the damage was not immediately reported. Reuters could not independently verify the report.

Drone attacks on Russian targets, especially in Crimea – annexed by Moscow in 2014 – and in regions bordering Ukraine, have become almost a daily occurrence since two drones were destroyed over the Kremlin in early May.

The attacks have disrupted flights in and out of Moscow in recent weeks. Ukraine rarely takes direct responsibility for such drone strikes but says destroying Russian military infrastructure helps a counteroffensive Kyiv began in June.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; editing by Diane Craft and Gerry Doyle)