An unidentified military drone recently exploded approximately 90 miles outside of Moscow and less than 170 miles from the Ukrainian border, according to a Russian official.
The drone explosion occurred in the city of Kaluga. There was reportedly no damage to local infrastructure and no casualties, added the unnamed Russian official.
Also, no specifics were offered regarding the drone's site origin, or its intended destination, prior to exploding in the air.
On Monday, Kaluga Governor Vladislav Shapsha addressed the drone explosion, via the Telegram app.
"It was established that at five in the morning in a forest near the city, a drone exploded in the air at a height of 50 meters [164 feet]," wrote Shapsha.
Rob Lee, a senior fellow at the Foreign Research Policy Institute, referred to the Telegram reports before tweeting on his own:
"A Ukrainian UAV (reportedly a Tu-141 Strizh) crashed in Kaluga after hitting trees. It was carrying an OFAB-100-120 high-explosive bomb."
In October, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that Russian air defense systems shot down an unidentified and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over the southern part of Ukraine.
In December, according to the Russian state media outlet Tass, Kaluga's Shapsha had approved a regional ban on the use of drones, quadrocopters, balloons, and small aircraft by legal entities, individuals, and citizens.
To do that, however, Newsweek reports that a notification procedure for the use of airspace would have been required.
The only exceptions: Aircraft used by state authorities and organizations, along with "federal executive authorities of the regional level, local governments and organizations fulfilling the state defense order or ensuring the control and operation of infrastructure facilities."
When speaking to Newsweek, Samuel Bendett, Russia analyst for the Center for Naval Analyses, said it was still too early to determine whether Ukraine was responsible for the drone explosion.
"Whether it was indeed a Tu-141 or another drone is less relevant than the fact that Ukraine is seeking to impose high costs on Russia by apparently launching drones deep inside Russian airspace to attack targets that are supposed to be secure," said Bendett.
He continued: "This attack also demonstrates that if this was indeed a Ukrainian drone, then providing full air defense coverage may prove problematic if Ukrainian drone attacks intensify in response to Russian military actions."
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