Russia A large drone forces a brief closure of the airspace of Saint Petersburg

Russia's Pulkovo airport in Saint Petersburg temporarily suspended all flights this morning

Russia A large drone forces a brief closure of the airspace of Saint Petersburg

Russia's Pulkovo airport in Saint Petersburg temporarily suspended all flights this morning.

The city government has not explained the reasons, while Russian media reports the presence of an unidentified object, possibly a drone, flying over the city.

"An unknown object is flying near Pulkovo airport. The sky is closed, aircraft flights and landings have stopped," an emergency services source told Russia's state agency RIA Novosti.

The state news agency TASS reports that the airspace within a radius of 200 kilometers around Pulkovo would be closed until 1:20 p.m. local time (11:30 a.m. in Spain), citing an unidentified source.

An hour before the closure period expired, the airspace began to open up again. Su-35 and MiG-31 fighters kept watch in the sky as part of 'Operation Carpet', which is activated whenever an unidentified object crosses the border or suddenly appears in the sky. The Russian media 'Fontanka' claims that the Russian Defense Ministry transmitted information to the airport that an unidentified object had been spotted 160 to 200 kilometers from St. Petersburg. Apparently it was a large drone.

The airspace of the country's second city was closed for about an hour and a half

A report from the Russian news site Baza said an unidentified object had been seen in the sky and even fighter jets had been sent in to investigate. The airspace closure is also affecting flights en route to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, which requires planes to fly over St. Petersburg.

Data on the Flight Radar website showed a large number of domestic flights heading to St. Petersburg and returning to their destinations in the morning.

Russia has closed all its air routes to the EU for a year as punishment for its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

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