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Moldovan authorities find warhead with 50 kg of explosives at crash site of Russian drone

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 12, 2024 2:56 PM 2 min read
Russian Shahed-type drone fragments found on Moldovan territory on Feb. 11, 2024. (Moldovan Border Police)
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When examining the crash site of a Russian Shahed-type drone near the border with Ukraine, Moldovan authorities discovered the drone’s warhead containing about 50 kilograms of explosives, Moldova's Border Police reported on Feb. 12.

The drone fragments were found on Feb. 11, not long after a Russian strike against Odesa Oblast, which borders Moldova. Chisinau suspects that the drone was downed by Ukrainian air defenses during the Feb. 9-10 attack.

Russian forces launched three waves of "kamikaze" drones against Odesa Oblast overnight on Feb. 9-10, targeting Odesa and Danube port infrastructure in the Izmail district. Four people were reported injured.

According to Moldovan authorities, drone debris was found near the village of Etulia, a Moldovan border settlement some 15 kilometers northeast of the Ukrainian Danube port of Reni and almost 40 kilometers northwest of Izmail.

The Border Police said that explosive specialists have collected all the drone remains and will soon detonate the discovered explosive charge.

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Access to the crash site will remain restricted until the end of the investigation to ensure the safety of local civilians, according to the Border Police.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu called the drone crash on her country's territory "another stark reminder of the grim reality we face," urging to continue supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russian military aggression.

Previously, Russian drone strikes against Odesa Oblast led to drone debris being found on Romanian soil in the autumn of 2023. In response, Bucharest implemented additional security measures in the border region, which included building shelters and air defense systems.

Turkish F-16 fighter jets stationed in Romania were scrambled during the Russian attack on Odesa Oblast on Feb. 9-10.

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The Kremlin prepares for destabilizing Moldova, likely as a part of the efforts to hinder its EU integration, among other objectives, the U.S.-based think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) wrote in its Jan. 28 assessment.
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