Drone hits Russian apartment building – Ukraine blamed

World

A drone hit a five-storey apartment building in Russia on Saturday morning, with some of the country’s media outlets pointing the finger at Ukraine.

Residents of the building in St Petersburg reported a strange sound, a blast and then a fire just after 7am local time.

One resident, Elena, told Reuters news agency: “I first heard a whistle, because I had just opened the window, then a pop, a blaze and a full apartment of smoke, the window flew out.”

Russia’s Rosgvardiya national guard said 100 people were evacuated, while Russian news agency RIA Novosti said six people needed medical help after the explosion.

Video from the scene showed the building’s facade with blown-out windows, damaged balconies, shattered glass and wreckage on the ground.

Russian media outlets said the incident could have been caused by a downed Ukrainian drone which had been heading towards a fuel depot nearby.

Ukraine’s defence ministry said it “did not possess information about the indicated situation” and Russia’s defence ministry has not commented.

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Meanwhile, at least five people were killed and others feared trapped under rubble when a Russian drone hit an apartment building in the Ukrainian port city of Odesa.

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Search for survivors after deadly Russian strike in Odesa

Elsewhere in Ukraine air defences shot down 14 of 17 drones that entered the airspace controlled by the country, officials said.

More than 20 settlements in Kharkiv province sustained Russian artillery and mortar attacks, while high-rise buildings in the regional capital, also called Kharkiv, were damaged by a drone attack, regional governor Oleh Syniehubov reported.

It is just over two years since Russia invaded Ukraine, in an escalation of the conflict that started in 2014.

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