Russia says Ukrainian drones downed in Moscow region, elsewhere

(Reuters) -Russian anti-aircraft units downed two Ukrainian drones over the Moscow region and Smolensk region to the west near the border with Belarus, the Russian Defence Ministry said early on Saturday.

"Anti-aircraft units intercepted lethal drones over the territory of Smolensk and Moscow regions," the Defence Ministry posted on Telegram, saying the incidents occurred at about 11 p.m. (2000 GMT).

Russian unofficial Telegram channels reported at least two explosions.

The popular Russian Telegram channel Baza, which has close links with the security services, said a drone had been downed near a machine plant in the city of Kolomna, 100 km (60 miles) southeast of Moscow, and showed a picture of smoke rising in the distance.

Baza also posted pictures of what it said was a fire at an explosives plant in Kotovsk, about 500 km southeast of Moscow.

Reuters could not establish if the incidents reported by Baza were related to those from the Ministry of Defence and could not independently verify any of the reports.

The Russian military issues reports nearly every day outlining activity against Ukrainian drones in various parts of the country, although reports of drones hitting areas close to Moscow are more rare. Most of the attacks cause no casualties and limited damage.

(Reporting by Reuters, Editing by Ron Popeski and Rosalba O'Brien)