Pskov Governor Mikhail Vedernikov said that NATO drones tried to cross the region’s border before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.
Pskov is a city in western Russia and shares a border with NATO members Latvia and Estonia.
“We have never spoken extensively about this, but there have even been attempts to illegally cross our border with military drones and other aircraft. Such ‘peaceful engagement’ was in full bloom even before the start of the special military operation, and clearly the situation has become even more aggravated,” Vedernikov said during a media forum on Saturday, Sputnik News reported.
He continued: “The Pskov Region borders on three states, two of them part of the NATO bloc…Today they like talking about how the alliance has sought ‘peaceful coexistence’ with us…Pskov has also been repeatedly subjected to this ‘good neighborliness’ policy of NATO’s.”
Above, a U.S. Army soldier holds a drone during a NATO joint military training exercise on April 21. Pskov Governor Mikhail Vedernikov said that NATO drones tried to cross the region’s border before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine started on February 24.
Photo by NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP via Getty Images
Pskov didn’t provide details about NATO’s drone operations on the Russian border or how the Kremlin responded to those attempts.
Similar reports about NATO carrying out operations near the region have been made before the Russian invasion. Moscow has repeatedly reported on the tracking and interception of NATO drones and surveillance aircraft found within the region’s vicinity, according to Sputnik News.
Tensions between Russia and NATO countries have long been on the rise. Earlier this year, troops from members of the bloc, along with Ukrainian forces, participated in a military drill that was set to bring together more than 15,000 troops from 10 countries as Putin’s army continued launching offensives in Ukraine.
Those tensions between Russia and Western nations rose again when Finland announced its public commitment to NATO membership. Meanwhile, Sweden announced earlier this year that it also planned to join the organization.
Though Russia continues to fight in a war that has been raging on for slightly over nine months, Putin’s army is not making the progress it hoped for as it struggles with equipment and low morale.
The British Ministry of Defense said last week in an intelligence briefing that Russian forces are removing nuclear warheads from old cruise missiles to fire at targets in Ukraine.
The ministry added that open-source imagery shows the debris of a 1980s AS-15 Kent air-launched cruise missile, which appears to be shot down and whose warheads had “probably been substituted for ballast.”
“Whatever Russia’s intent, this improvisation highlights the level of depletion in Russia’s stock of long-range missiles,” British officials said.