At approximately 0130 EST, initial reports indicated that Russian air defense systems had been activated near Sochi International Airport in Krasnodar Krai. This is the first time since the beginning of the Russian invasion in February 2022 that the key travel hub had been engaged.
Footage of this mornings shoot down of a probable Ukrainian PD-2 near Sochi International Airport. pic.twitter.com/XxpluItGvz
— Tessaron News (@TessaronF) October 1, 2023
The Russian Defense Ministry was the first to report that a Ukrainian drone had been shot down near the airport. 13 flights had been delayed or cancelled due to the incident. However, by 0245 EST, Sochi Mayor Kopaigorodky confirmed that operations had resumed at their airport. He said:
“Today, at about eight in the morning, an unmanned aerial vehicle was destroyed by air defense systems on duty over the territory of the Krasnodar Territory. To ensure safety, a temporary flight restriction was introduced at Sochi International Airport. Flights heading to the resort were promptly redirected to alternate airfields. From 8.20 am, the airport operates as usual for the reception and release of aircraft. Everything is normal in Sochi. The situation in the city is calm.”
Several Russian military bloggers initially reported that the drone could have been a Ukrainian-made PD-2. However, after some analysis, the fuselage more accurately resembles a Turkish-made TB-2 based on the wingform and prominence of the forward pitot tube.