Ukrainian drones make 700 km strike in North Ossetia, Russian airfield targeted

On the morning of Saturday, June 8, Russian air defence forces shot down a "Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle" over the territory of North Ossetia, the Russian Ministry of Defence reported, without providing further details.

Concurrently, the head of North Ossetia, Sergey Menyailo, stated that three drones were downed in Mozdok. Menyailo described the drones' origin as Ukrainian, targeting a military airfield. He emphasised that there were no casualties or damage.

Previously, the Russian Ministry of Defence had not reported any drone interceptions in North Ossetia, a region located far from the conflict zone. For context, North Ossetia and the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia are separated by approximately 900 kilometres in a straight line.

According to open sources, the 485th Independent Helicopter Regiment is stationed at the military airfield in Mozdok. Ukrainian media sources had claimed that Russia started using this airfield for the deployment and launch of strategic aviation in the spring of last year. As of April 22, 2024, six Tu-22M3 strategic bombers and four Su-24M/MR aircraft (Su-24M being a bomber and Su-24MR a reconnaissance aircraft) were based there.

Meanwhile, an anonymous source of Ukrainska Pravda described the drone attack on the Mozdok military airfield as a special operation by the Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR), characterising it as "planned work of Ukrainian intelligence and the successful use of advanced domestic means".

This source confirmed that it was the first attack on the Mozdok airfield and added that the strike zone within the Russian territory is expanding, emphasising the use of Ukrainian resources, reports Ukrainska Pravda.

In early April, Ukrainian drones, for the first time since the start of Russia's war against Ukraine, attacked facilities in Tatarstan. Notably, the special economic zone Elabuga, located about 1,300 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, was targeted.

Prior to this, the longest-range Ukrainian drone strike was considered the January attack on a Saint Petersburg oil terminal, where a drone covered roughly 900 kilometres from the Ukrainian border.

  War in Ukraine, Ossetia