Russian air defences claim to have shot down a UFO near the Sea of Azov

Anti-aircraft batteries in the southern Russian region of Rostov have shot down what’s being described in local news reports as a "UFO".

Regional governor Vasily Golubev wrote on Telegram that a "small-size object in the shape of a ball" had been spotted flying over the village of Sultan Sala in the region's Myasnikovsky district, at an altitude of roughly one and a half miles on Tuesday January 3.

The unidentified object was immediately targeted by local air defences. Local news outlet Pivyet Rostov reported that "a UFO in the form of a ball was shot down in the sky."

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Explaining that "the decision was taken to liquidate” the object, Golubev urged people to remain calm. He reassured locals that “the sky is covered with anti-aircraft defences," and that there was no danger.

Local news channel Ostorozhna, Novosti showed a video of a shining, ball-shaped object exploding in the sky.

Rostov occupies a strategically important position on the the Sea of Azov, a body of water bounded by Russia on the east, and by Ukraine on the northwest and southwest.

The province was named as one of six Russian regions – along with two newly-annexed regions in which Russian leader Vladimir Putin has introduced a "medium-response level”.

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This includes movement restrictions and other public order measures.

Numerous explosions and fires at strategic sites within Russia have been blamed on Ukrainian drones – potentially guided by operatives working within Russia’ borders.

The Engels airbase deep inside Russia was targeted on Boxing Day, just as the Russian army was celebrating the 107th anniversary of the creation of its first air defence units.

The base, 300 miles from Russia’s border with Ukraine and a further 100 miles from the current frontline in the Donbas region, is home to a squadron of nuclear-capable bombers.

The New York Times has reported that Ukraine carried out the attack with drones and the help of a military reconnaissance unit coordinating it deep inside Russian territory.

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