Attacks in Russia during the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Several attacks in Russia, primarily in the Bryansk, Kursk, and Belgorod oblasts, were reported since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on 24 February 2022. Russia accused Ukraine of being responsible for these attacks. Ukraine did not claim responsibility for most of the attacks and had formally denied being behind some of them.

Attacks in Russia during the Russian invasion of Ukraine
Part of the Russian invasion of Ukraine
Date24 February 2022 (2022-02-24) – present
Deaths58+ civilians (unknown military fatalities)[1]
Injured227+ civilians (unknown military injuries)[2]
Perpetrators Ukrainian Armed Forces (per Russia)
Russian Federal Security Service (per Ukraine)[a]
  1. ^ Ukraine did not claim responsibility for any of the incidents, and denied being responsible for certain attacks

Shelling, drone strikes and sabotage

February–March 2022

On 25 February 2022, the Millerovo air base was attacked, allegedly with Tochka-U missiles, presumedly by the Ukrainian 19th Missile Brigade.[3]

On 1 March, there was an explosion on a military air base in Taganrog in Rostov Oblast. There were claims that it was due to Ukrainian action.[4]

On 23 and 24 March, Governor of Belgorod Oblast Vyacheslav Gladkov reported that Zhuravlyovka and Nekhoteyevka came under shelling from the Ukrainian side. The next day, the Moscow Patriarchate claimed that chaplain Oleg Artyomov died in Zhuravlyovka as a result of a BM-30 Smerch strike by Ukraine.[5]

On 29 March, local officials reported a series of explosions outside the city of Belgorod, close to the border with Ukraine. It was later reported that those explosions may have been caused by a fire.[6]

April 2022

On 1 April, according to regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov and an unnamed US official, two Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopters attacked and set fire to a fuel depot in Belgorod in a low-altitude airstrike with no reported casualties.[7][8][9] Ukraine denied and dismissed the event as Russian propaganda.[10][11] Ukrainian security official Oleksiy Danilov denied Ukraine was behind the helicopter attack,[12][11] with a joke in which he blamed the "People's Republic of Belgorod" instead.[13][14][15] On the same day, a rocket exploded in a different part of the oblast, but its apparent trajectory and model led open-source researchers to suspect it was a failed Russian missile.[16]

On 11 April, Belgorod, Bryansk, Kursk, and Voronezh Oblasts all raised their terror alert system to "yellow", the second tier in a three-class system.[17][18] The Republic of Crimea and Krasnodar Krai raised their alert levels in certain districts. Authorities in Belgorod ordered a two-week ban on fireworks and firecrackers.[17]

On 14 April, the FSB border service reported that on 13 April, a border checkpoint near Novye Yurkovichi, Bryansk Oblast came under mortar fire from Ukraine while a group of around 30 Ukrainian refugees headed for Russia was present there. According to the official claims, two automobiles were damaged but no injuries were documented.[19][20][21][22]

On the same day, regional and municipal authorities stated that Ukraine had shelled the village of Spodaryushino (near Mokraya Orlovka) in Belgorod Oblast, causing several explosions. While no injuries occurred, the village's population was temporarily evacuated, out of concerns about a possible escalation. A neighboring settlement also had its population relocated.[23] Governor of Belgorod Oblast Vyacheslav Gladkov said that the attack "had come from the Ukrainian side."[20] In a separate alleged attack a resident of Zhuravlyovka was injured, according to Gladkov.[24][25]

On the same day, the Investigative Committee of Russia said Ukrainian attack helicopters had launched six missile strikes on residential areas in the town of Klimovo, Bryansk Oblast, damaging six buildings.[26][27] Officials at the Russian Health Ministry said that seven people had been injured, two of which had been hurt seriously.[27] According to personnel at the city's hospital, among those injured were a pregnant woman and a two-year-old child.[21][20] According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, an unverified video of a house in Bryansk burning went viral on the internet.[21] The next day, Russian security services claimed they had shot down a Mil Mi-8 helicopter during the incident.[28]

On 19 April, Belgorod's governor accused Ukrainian forces of striking the village of Golovchino, damaging more than 30 houses and lightly wounding 3 residents.[29] On 25 April, according to the Belgorod governor, at least two residents, a man and a woman, were injured in Zhuravlyovka as a result of shelling.[30]

On the same day, another attack happened in Bryansk: in the morning, two large explosions and fires occurred at two oil facilities, a civilian one and a military one. Videos and images posted on social media showed large columns of black smoke several hours after the initial explosions. An analyst told The Guardian that the fires were likely an act of sabotage by Ukraine, although responsibility remained uncertain.[31][32] Unconfirmed reports in the Russian media suggested the fires could have been caused by a drone attack; on the same day, two Bayraktar TB2 drones were reportedly shot down in Bryansk Oblast.[33]

On 29–30 April, a border checkpoint near Krupets in Rylsky District of Kursk Oblast was repeatedly shelled, according to the governor. The Bryansk governor said that his region was shelled as well.[34][35]

May 2022

On 11 May, the Belgorod governor claimed that Solokhi was shelled from Ukraine. According to him, one person was killed and seven were injured as a result of the incident.[36] Videos online also showed damage to stores and private houses, local officials reportedly began evacuating the village after the attack.[37] The deceased was identified as Ruslan Nefyodov, aged 18.[38]

On 15 May, Gladkov said that one person was injured with a shrapnel wound in Sereda [ru] after a Ukrainian strike,[39] as 10 shells were reportedly shot down by Russian air defense systems. Another 10 shells fell close to Novostroyevka-Vtoraya [ru], while another round of eight artillery shells reportedly damaged a power line and a number of farming structures in Zhuravlyovka.[40]

On 17 May, Gladkov claimed that one more person was slightly injured in Bezymeno as it was shelled from the territory of Ukraine.[41] Kursk governor said that the border checkpoint at Tyotkino had been shelled once again on the same day, no victims were reported.[41] On 18 May, Gladkov declared that Solokhi was shelled again, and one person was reportedly injured.[42] Kursk governor Starovoyt reported that Alekseevka, Glushkovsky District [ru], was shelled.[43] On 19 May, Starovoyt claimed that a distillery in Tyotkino was shelled, a truck driver died, and at least one civilian was wounded.[44][45][46] On the same day, Alekseevka and Dronovka [ru] were reportedly shelled.[47]

On 25 May, Gladkov claimed that one person was wounded in Zhuravlyovka as it was shelled "from the territory of Ukraine".[48] Zhuravlyovka and Nekhoteyevka were subject to continuous shelling on 26 May. A woman died from her wounds in the hospital the next day.[49][50][51] On 26 May, Starovoyt said that Vorozhba, Sudzhansky District [ru] came under shelling "from the Ukrainian side", and a local school teacher was wounded by broken glass.[52]

June–July 2022

On 6 June, a bridge at Tyotkino was shelled, damaging it. Near the bridge, a block of apartments was badly damaged, a car was burnt out and the local sugar refinery suffered some damage.[53]

Klintsy and its surrounding regions in Bryansk Oblast were shelled for three days straight beginning on 12 June. The first two days of attacks were more minor incidents targeting military bases, with little to no casualties. On 14 June a helicopter fired missiles at residential areas in the city, damaging dozens of houses and ripping a woman's leg off.[54] Authorities recorded six injuries on 14 June.[55] As a result of the attacks, Klintsy and the surrounding region was left without water and electricity.[56]

On 22 June, the Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery in Rostov Oblast was reportedly hit by a suicide drone, no casualties were reported.[57]

On 3 July, officials said that a group of explosions targeting civilian areas in Belgorod had killed at least five people and injured four, several buildings and private houses were damaged or destroyed, anti-aircraft defense systems reportedly activated, but one projectile hit an apartment building.[58][59] Russia blamed Ukraine for the attack and Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that Russia had shot down three Ukrainian Tochka U ballistic missiles armed with cluster warheads. Ukraine denied it was responsible.[60][61][62]

September–October 2022

A civilian was killed and two hospitalized after shelling hit the town of Valuyki in Belgorod Oblast on 15 September, according to regional authorities.[63][64] Earlier, Russian authorities had reported that a border checkpoint on Nekhoteevka was attacked and that the customs terminal had caught on fire.[65]

On 11 October, an explosion was reported at an electric substation in Shebekino; some residents were left without energy.[66] On 15 October, new explosions were reported in Belgorod; an oil depot reportedly caught on fire.[67] On 16 October, explosions were reported at an airport in Belgorod; videos online show anti-aircraft systems firing and smoke rising on the airport after an apparent missile strike, with two people reportedly being wounded.[68]

November 2022

On 1 November, the settlement of Krasnooktyabrsky in Glushkovsky District was reportedly shelled by Ukrainian forces, no injuries were reported, a five-story building was damaged and several windows were blown; Another attack was also reported in Kozynka, one person was reportedly wounded in the shelling.[69] On 2 November, 5 civilians, including 3 children, were reportedly injured after shells hit the village of Guyevo, Sudzhansky District. Several private houses and stores were also damaged in the attack; the village was left without electricity as power lines were either destroyed or damaged following the explosions.[70]

On 15 November, 2 civilians were killed and 3 injured after shelling in Shebekino, Belgorod Oblast; the shells reportedly hit apartment buildings and a pharmacy nearby.[71] Later, the governor of Belgorod said that an 80-year-old woman died of her wounds in the hospital and that a man was killed and another was injured by parts of a missile that was shot down by air defense.[72] On 16 November, in the village of Stalnoy Kon, Oryol Oblast, an unmanned aerial vehicle reportedly attacked an oil depot, and no casualties were reported. Earlier that month, on 14 November, Russian media had also reported several blasts in the Belgorod region.[73]

December 2022

On 5 December, two airbases reported explosions, allegedly caused by Ukrainian drone attacks. At Engels-2 air base in Saratov Oblast, 2 Tu-95s were reportedly damaged. At Dyagilevo air base in Ryazan Oblast, an oil truck exploded, killing three soldiers and injuring four.[74] On 6 December, Governor of Kursk Oblast Roman Starovoyt announced that an oil reservoir near Kursk-Khalino airbase caught on fire as a result of a drone attack; no casualties were reported and the fire was quickly put out.[75]

On 17 December, explosions were reported in Belgorod, a local resident's car was reportedly damaged by a fragment of ammunition debris.[76] On 18 December, explosions were reported again in Belgorod, officials claimed that they were the result of anti-aircraft fire; several cars and houses were damaged by debris, 4 people were wounded in the city itself, and 1 person was killed in the suburbs, local Telegram channels also posted images showing thick black smoke rising over the city.[77]

More explosions were reported elsewhere in Belgorod Oblast, a poultry farm was reportedly hit; 2 people, including 1 employee of the farm, died as a result of the explosions, 3 other employees were also wounded during the alleged attack, local Telegram channels showed videos allegedly showing the aftermath of the attack.[77] On 25 December, three soldiers were killed in another attack on Engels air base.[78]

February–March 2023

On 11 February, the Governor of the Belgorod Oblast reported that Ukrainian Grad missiles had hit the city of Shebekino, and that as a result of the attack, three men had been wounded, one building of an industrial enterprise had been destroyed and a bus stop, as well as three private cars, had been damaged. Another attack with Grad rockets was reported later, with local authorities claiming that the missiles had hit two private houses, one of which caught on fire as result of the strike.[79]

On 22 February, regional authorities reported that two people had been injured by shelling in Shebekino, and that three houses were damaged from shelling in Pervoye Tseplyayevo.[80] On February 28, a Rosneft oil depot in Tuapse, Krasnodar Krai, caught on fire after an alleged drone attack. Locals reported several explosions in the depot, which local officials blamed on two drones that allegedly crashed into the terminal and exploded. The boiler room was reportedly damaged, although the local government denied any damage to the facility's oil tanks; there were no victims, and the fire was quickly extinguished.[81] On the same day, an FSB border service observation tower was damaged by an UAV, allegedly from Ukraine.[82]

On 4 March, a drone carrying an improvised explosive device attacked a substation of the Transneft-Druzhba oil pipeline in Belgorod Oblast. Four people were evacuated, but no injuries were reported.[83] On 6 March, more attacks were reported in Kursk and Belgorod Oblasts. Starovoyt claimed the village of Iskra suffered power outages after energy facilities reported damages during the attack. According to Belgorod Oblast Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, in the town of Novy Oskol, although three missiles were shot down, one civilian was injured and several buildings in the town were damaged, in addition to power outages.[84]

On 15 March, two missiles were downed by air defense systems over the city of Belgorod, according to Belgorod Oblast Governor Gladkov, with no injuries or damage reported.[85] On 27 March, a drone attacked an gas station in Belgorod late in the evening; no casualties were reported.[86]

April 2023

On 6 April, an drone with several cameras crashed in the Fakel Machine-Building Design Bureau in Khimki, Moscow Oblast; the drone was allegedly downed by communication jammers, and was found by security guards patrolling the region.[87] On 9 April, Belgorod Governor Gladkov claimed that Ukrainian forces had shelled the border town of Voznesenovka, Shebekinsky District; two houses and one farm were damaged by shells, but no casualties were reported.[88]

On 10 April, a drone carrying a bomb crashed into a fence at Belgorod airport, no casualties were reported, but the explosion damaged the airport's fence and alarm system.[89] On 16 April, a drone attacked an electrical substation in Belgorod, no casualties were reported.[90]

May 2023

On 3 May, Russia said it had shot down two drones over the Moscow Kremlin and accused Ukraine of sending them to assassinate President Vladimir Putin.[91] The Ukrainian government denied the accusations, calling them fabricated.[92] Also on 3 May, several explosions and a fire were reported early on the morning at the Port of Taman, near the village of Volna, Krasnodar Krai, images show flames and smoke over what is believed to be large fuel tanks, no casualties were reported, Russian media outlets blamed the explosions and subsequent fire on an alleged Ukrainian drone attack; the port is about 15 km from the Crimean Bridge and is used as a logistic hub for operations in Southern Ukraine.[93]

Another attack was reported on the same day in Bryansk Oblast, where, allegedly, five Ukrainian drones attacked a military airfield, two drones reportedly hit their targets on the airfield, whereas two were destroyed and one was not found, no casualties were reported, one unoperated An-124 military transport aircraft was slightly damaged during the attack, according to local media outlets.[94]

On 4 May, early in the morning, an unidentified drone struck the territory of the military unit No. 45117 in the town of Buturlinovka, Voronezh Oblast; this was followed by another alleged Ukrainian drone attack at the Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery in the village of Kiselyovka, Rostov Oblast; the drone crashed and exploded at the Refinery’s inter-shop flyover, which was under construction. The fire was quickly put out and no casualties were reported.[95]

On 10 May, a unidentified drone struck an administrative building in Starodub, Bryansk Oblast; another drone also dropped an explosive device on the Klintsy oil depot (owned by Rosneft) in Bryansk proper on 11 May. The concrete base and oil products storage tank were partially damaged, while no casualties were reported; regional governor Alexander Bogomaz blamed Ukraine for the attacks.[96] On 14 May, an unidentified drone dropped an explosive device on the roof of a military warehouse in Suzemka District of Bryansk Oblast, near the border with Ukraine; there were no casualties, although some of the equipment there was damaged.[97]

On 15 May, a drone allegedly crashed into a border post in Bryansk Oblast in the evening, injuring five border guards. Another attack was also reported in Sudzhansky District of Kursk Oblast; according to Governor Starovoyt, an drone dropped a bomb on a working excavator, inflicting minor injuries on the operator.[98] On 30 May, Moscow was attacked by drones.[99]

June 2023

On June 4, Krasnodar was struck with missiles. [100]

On June 5, several districts in Kaluga Oblast were target with drones. [101]

On June 22, Kursk city was bombed with Ukrainian drones. [102]

July 2023

On July 4, a large-scale drone attack was launched upon Moscow by Ukraine. Some infrastructure was damaged as a result of blasts, explosions and fires. [103][104]

August 2023

On 19 August, the Russian defense ministry claimed that a warplane was damaged in a drone attack on a military airfield in Soltsy, Novgorod Oblast, in what was believed to be the first attack of its kind in the area.[105]

On 29 August 2023, a Ukrainian drone attack targeted the airbase, destroying four Il-76 jets. [106]

Moscow was also targeted and struck by drones numerous times in June, July, August, and September.[107][108][109]

November 2023

Following the bombing of Kyiv on November 23, Ukrainian forces launched 70 drones onto Russian territory, damaging infrastucture in Tula. Airports in Moscow suspended operations and many drones were shut down in Moscow, Kaluga, Smolensk, Tula, Oryol, Belgorod, Briansk, Kursk, Voronezh and Krasnodar Oblasts. [110][111][112][113][114][115][116][117]


On 20 August 2022, ultranationalist journalist, political scientist and activist Darya Dugina was killed by a car bombing in Bolshiye Vyazyomy, Odintsovsky District, Moscow Oblast.[118]

On 6 May 2023, in Pionerskoye village, Bor District, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, an anti-tank mine exploded under an Audi Q7 car, in which the ultranationalist writer and politician Zakhar Prilepin was driving. Prilepin received severe leg injuries, and his bodyguard died on the spot. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by Atesh, a militant group of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars.[119][120]

On 11 July 2023, Navy Captain Stanislav Rzhitsky, deputy head of military mobilization efforts in Krasnodar, was shot and killed while jogging. As commander of the submarine Krasnodar based in the Black Sea, he was accused of launching missiles that struck Vinnytsia in July 2022 and killed 23 civilians, although his father claimed he had left active service prior to the invasion in 2021.[121]

Ground raids

March 2023

Russian Volunteer Corps members in Sushany, Bryansk Oblast

On 2 March 2023, at around 11:30 MSK, it was reported that a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group made an incursion into Russian territory, entering the villages of Lyubechane and Sushany, Klimovsky District; local civilians reported hearing explosions and gunfire.[122][123] The saboteurs allegedly fired into civilians, killing two adults and injuring two children, including one 11-year-old child.[124][125]

Members of the Rosgvardia reportedly entered into a clash with the group; by 14:30, TASS, citing eyewitnesses, wrote that the "Ukrainian saboteurs" had ceased showing signs of activity and may have left Russian territory.[126] Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) later said that the attackers had been pushed back into Ukraine, where a "massive artillery strike" was inflicted on them.[127] According to the FSB, a large number of explosive devices had been found and demining was underway.[125]

May–July 2023

Chechen fighters ambushing a Russian military truck near Sereda, Belgorod in July 2023.

On 22 May, armed attacks took place in Kozinka, Gora-Podol and Grayvoron in Belgorod Oblast. The Russian Volunteer Corps and Freedom of Russia Legion claimed responsibility for the attacks. A Ukrainian spokesperson, Andrii Yusov, made the same claim, stating that the attacks were to "liberate" the regions and to provide a buffer zone to protect Ukrainian civilians. Russian authorities attributed the attacks to "a Ukrainian sabotage-reconnaissance group".[128]

On 1 June, the RVC and LSR launched another incursion in Belgorod Oblast, this time near the small town of Shebekino.[129]


Russian response

Schools in Bryansk Oblast were closed following the attack on 14 April and four regions in Russia increased their security measures.[27][130] In response to alleged shelling by Ukraine, Russia reportedly began reinforcing its border with Ukraine, including building defense lines and fortifications along the border of Belgorod, Kursk and Bryansk Oblasts with Ukraine.[131][132] A state of emergency was also declared on some villages and settlements along the border with Ukraine following repeated shelling attacks.[133]

On 15 April, Russia launched major missile strikes on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in retaliation for the attacks.[28] The Russian attacks were the largest of their kind to take place since Russia aborted its offensive into Kyiv Oblast.[134] After the 5 December missile strikes, Russian forces launched a new wave of attacks against Ukrainian cities.[135] A missile reportedly fell on Moldova as a result of the attack.[136]

ISW reported that Russian forces could be preparing a large-scale false flag attack to gather popular support for the invasion, with Kremlin propagandists claiming that Ukraine is "preparing to invade" Belgorod Oblast.[137] A senior Ukrainian officer later said that Russia may attempt to escalate the situation on the border and claim "NATO and Ukrainian aggression", he cited recent fake news being spread in pro-Russian Telegram channels about "Ukrainian and NATO plans" to "Attack peaceful Russian and Belarusian territory", as well as recent construction of border defenses along Russian Oblasts bordering Ukraine, the Ukrainian General Staff also claimed that Russia could attempt to force Belarus into the war, and that "10-15 thousand Belarusian forces" were already on the border with Ukraine, citing reports of possible Reconnaissance missions conducted by Belarusian forces.[137]

In May 2023, Russia's Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev blamed the United States and Ukraine for the number of attacks in western Russia and said that "the terrorist attacks committed in Russia are accompanied by an information campaign prepared in advance in Washington and London, designed to destabilise the socio-political situation, and to undermine the constitutional foundations and sovereignty of Russia."[138]

Ukrainian response

Ukraine rejected the claims that it was responsible for the 14 April attacks, instead asserting that Russian intelligence services were trying to "carry out terrorist acts to whip up anti-Ukrainian hysteria" in the country.[139][27]

After the attack, the Security Service of Ukraine released what it claimed were intercepted conversations between Russian soldiers showing that Russia deliberately fired on the villages in order to blame Ukraine. One of the alleged soldiers refers to the Russian apartment bombings in 1999 where he says that the "same shit happened in the Chechen war. Apartments were blown up in Moscow, like they were terrorists. In fact, they are FSB officers."[140]

In response to accusations regarding the 13 April Bryansk border checkpoint incident by Russia's FSB security service, Ukrainian interior ministry advisor Anton Herashchenko said that something "fell and caught fire" at a Russian military facility, without explicitly confirming or denying Ukrainian responsibility.[22]

On 27 April, Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, commented on the recent incidents. Without directly admitting that Ukraine was responsible, he said that it was not possible to "sit out" the Russian invasion.

"And therefore, the disarmament of the Belgorod and Voronezh killers' warehouses is an absolutely natural process. Karma is a cruel thing."[141]

See also


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Further reading