Day 370: drone attacks sow panic in Russia

Drone strikes produce explosions inside Russia

On Tuesday, February 28, a series of drone strikes targeted regions inside Russia.

-In the city of Tuapse in Krasnodar region, two drones slammed into a Rosneft oil depot. The drone strikes hit the boiler room of the depot, leaving two craters 1.5 meters deep, Russian media and Telegram channels said. The strikes were about 100 meters from the oil tanks and 30 meters from a Russian Defense Ministry barrack, Astra news outlet said.

-On Tuesday morning, Russian authorities briefly closed the airspace over St. Petersburg, in response to an unknown object in the sky spotted in the area. They activated the Kovyor (carpet) plan, a measure to respond to “illegal border crossing or unidentified objects in the airspace.” Russian fighter jets (possibly Su-35 and MiG-31) were scrambled, and civilian flights were temporarily suspended. St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport was closed to arriving and departing flights. The airspace around the city was closed in a radius of 200 kilometers. The object that caused the authorities to close airspace “looked like a big drone,” Russian Telegram channel 112 said. 

-Outside Moscow, a drone crashed near a Gazprom facility in Kolomna region. It landed 10 meters from the outer fence of a gas compressor station, but did not explode, a number of Telegram channels said. 

-On the morning of February 27, three drones crashed into a border patrol surveillance tower of Russia’s FSB security service in Sevsky district of Bryansk region. The strikes took it out of service, Telegram channel Astra said.

-On February 28, Russian forces shot down a drone over Surazhsky district in Bryansk region, local governor Aleksandr Bogomaz said. He said the drone was Ukrainian. The attack caused no casualties or damages, he added.

The Kremlin refrained from commenting on the closure of airspace over St. Petersburg. Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said statements by the aviation and military authorities will follow. Putin is fully informed about the incident, he added. 

An air raid alarm interrupted the programming of several TV channels and radio stations in Russia. “Attention! Air raid alarm. Proceed to a shelter immediately. Attention! Missile strike threat,” a female voice repeated.  

Television displayed a sign with a person heading to a bomb shelter. Russian authorities said the announcement was a hoax.

Russian forces continue to storm Bakhmut

The Russian forces continue to storm Bakhmut in Donetsk region. In some areas of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, they are preparing for an offensive. 

Ukrainian aircraft carried out three strikes on areas of concentration of the Russian forces in the past day, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in a report. Missile units and artillery of Ukraine’s defense forces hit an area of concentration of hostile manpower, a military equipment and weapons site, and two positions of the Russian air defense missile systems, the report reads.

The Russian forces launched a missile attack and two air strikes against Ukraine. They carried out more than 20 attacks with multiple launch rocket systems.

Russia continues to concentrate its main efforts on the offensive on the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiyivka and Shakhtarsk axes.

Russia withdraws from Council of Europe treaties

On Tuesday, February 28, Putin signed law to formally suspend validity of treaties concluded within the Council of Europe. Russia quit the organization in March 2022.

The document appeared on Russia’s official legal web site, European Pravda said.

The law that Putin submitted to the Russian Parliament in January 2022 as a draft, recognizes 21 international treaties as invalid with respect to Russia, beginning 16 March 2022. Among them are the Statute of the Council of Europe, the Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, the European Charter of Local Self-Government, and the Social Charter.

In March 2022, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe expelled Russia from the Council of Europe and urged allies to send air defenses to Ukraine. As expulsion was inevitable, Russia filed an application to quit the organization.

The European Court of Human Rights decided to stop processing all complaints against Russia, but later resumed work. In June, Russia decided not to implement court rulings that were issued after March 15, 2022.

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe said that according to international law, Russia has to comply with verdicts of the European Court of Human Rights passed against it.

Will russian athletes compete in 2024 Olympics? Ukraine in Flames #355

The International Olympic Committee is trying to find a way to allow russians and belarusians into the Olympics and to be able to compete as neutral athletes, with no symbols of their countries allowed. In response to that, governments of 35 countries called for russia and belarus to be banned from the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Watch Ukraine in flames #355 to find out about double standards of the IOC and what Ukraine is doing to prevent russians and belarusians from competing while the war is still going on.


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