Widespread drone attacks target Russian regions and Crimea overnight

Several Russian regions, including Belgorod, Bryansk, Kaluga, and Tula, as well as annexed Crimea, were subjected to drone attacks from Ukraine overnight on Thursday, 16 May, according to a statement from the Russian Ministry of Defence on their Telegram channel.

The Ministry reported "four drones were destroyed and two others were intercepted" over Crimea. Specific targets of the drone attacks were not disclosed. Meanwhile, the Telegram channel "Crimean Wind" posted a video late on 15 May, allegedly showing a new fire at the Belbek airfield. The channel later confirmed via satellite imagery, analysed by the "Crimean Wind" monitoring group, that the fire was caused by a missile striking a fuel tank.

The Russian-appointed "head" of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, had not provided further details on the night attack on his Telegram channel at the time of the report. The last post from the "governor" of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, at 7:00 am was a repost of the Russian Defence Ministry's late-night bulletin from 15 May, indicating "five tactical missiles were destroyed over the territory of the Republic of Crimea by air defense."

The Russian Defence Ministry stated that over the Belgorod region on the night of 16 May, "two Vilha MLRS rockets, one Tochka-U tactical missile, and one UAV were destroyed by air defense systems."

Regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov posted late on 15 May that two men were injured in a rocket strike on Shebekino by Ukrainian forces: one with a shrapnel wound to his left hand, the other with a shrapnel wound to his back.

Bryansk Governor Alexander Bogomaz mentioned late on 15 May that Russian air defence shot down a fixed-wing drone over the Pochep district. "There were no injuries or damages," he confirmed in his post. No further attacks on the region were reported at the time.

Kaluga region Governor Vladislav Shapsha stated in a Telegram post on the morning of 16 May that "an air defence unit destroyed a drone in the Sukhinichsky district overnight." He added, "Preliminary data suggests there were no injuries or infrastructure damage."

In Tula region, the regional security ministry reported that two drones were shot down during the night of 16 May. The ministry confirmed there were no injuries or damages.

On the night of May 16, drones from the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence targeted production facilities of the state-owned Russian defence enterprise Bazalt in Tula, reported Ukrainska Pravda, citing a source from the Defence Intelligence Directorate.

The facility is reported to be directly involved in manufacturing military products for the conflict against Ukraine, producing weapons and ammunition for ground troops, air forces, and the navy.

  War in Ukraine, drone attack, Crimea