Russia Bombs Itself, Blames Kyiv

( – A Russian aircraft accidentally bombed one of its own country’s villages during an attempted strike against Ukraine on January 2nd. As Russian forces continued their assault on major Ukrainian cities, one Air Force plane released munitions as it flew over the village of Petropavlovka in Russia’s Voronezh region. The aircraft was reported to have been forced to make an “emergency release” of its munitions approximately 93 miles from the Ukrainian border, causing damage to nine residential buildings, a school, an administrative building, and an arts center.

Russia’s Defense Ministry reported that nobody was killed as a result of the bombing, although the regional governor, Alexander Gusev, announced that four people had to be treated for minor injuries. An investigation into the “friendly fire” incident has been launched, with the Russian government vowing to rebuild the damaged buildings. Speaking via his Telegram channel, Gusev told the public that he had the situation “under control” and that the people whose homes had been damaged have been moved to temporary accommodation while they wait for their homes to be rebuilt. A tractor and five cars also sustained damage in the bombing, the owners of which would receive compensation in due course, Gusev promised.

The Petropavlovka misfire was a part of a ramped-up wave of assaults against Ukraine which included around 100 missiles launched against the north of the country. According to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, this particular barrage killed five people and injured over 120 in the areas of Kyiv and Kharkiv. UN officials say that since December 29, 70 Ukrainians have been killed by Russian airstrikes, with a further 360 suffering injuries.

The incident over Petropavlovka represents another embarrassing misstep for the Russian military, after several other high-profile “friendly fire” incidents throughout the Ukrainian campaign. In April 2023, a similar accidental bombing saw a Russian plane strike the Russian city of Belogrod, causing damage to buildings and leaving a large crater. In October 2022, Russian authorities reported that a training flight had gone wrong after a fighter-bomber plane crashed into a residential building in the Russian city of Yeysk, killing 14 people. The latest accidental airstrike saw a revival on Russian social media of the “bomb Voronezh” meme, which pokes fun at Russian forces for attempting to attack the enemy and instead hurting themselves.

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