A RUSSIAN colonel was blown up in a drone strike while mowing his lawn, according to reports.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Alexei Chernykh was doing garden work at his country home in Shchetinovka, Russia, just 1,000ft from the Ukraine border when he was killed.
Telegram channel Baza, linked to Russian intelligence, said Chernykh -who worked in Russia's anti-corruption police force – was confirmed dead following the blast.
Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov accused Ukraine of being behind the deadly "targeted" strike.
Telegram channel Baza said: "Aleksey died after a Ukrainian drone dropped ammunition on his site in Shchetinovka.
"At that moment, Alexei had the day off and mowed the lawn."
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Gladkov said Chernykh died from shrapnel wounds.
Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the strike.
If the war-torn country is behind the blast, however, it may be evidence of their growing ability to carry out pin-pointed attacks.
It comes as Russia has been rocked by numerous drone strikes in recent weeks – especially around the capital, Moscow.
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Just last week, massive explosions were seen at a military airfield where Vladimir Putin’s supersonic Tu-22M3 strategic bombers are based.
Moscow's aerial defences were forced to work overtime as missiles and kamikaze drones flew towards key locations in the capital city.
Kyiv is alleged to have fired a fearsome modified S-200 missile to blitz Putin's prized bombers based at the Shaykovka military airfield.
And days earlier, three people were killed as Russia suffered kamikaze drone attacks for the sixth day in a row.
A blast rocked the tenth to 15th floors of the new One Tower, under construction, in the capital's business and government zone.
The high-rise was hit by one of three military UAVs to target Moscow overnight – as the US warned Ukraine it did not support or facilitate its strikes inside Russia.
There was disruption at Moscow’s four main airports as flights were suspended during the drone incursions.
Meanwhile in early 2022, shocking footage revealed the moment a bomb dropped from a Ukrainian drone blew up a Russian tank.
Striking footage shows the utter devastation inflicted on a multi-million dollar tank from what is believed to be a $10,000 drone.
The humiliating scenes come despite Putin's 44.5 tonne battle tanks being fitted with 40mm thick armour.
But the top of the tanks are kitted out with thinner armour for mobility reasons – making them incredibly vulnerable to aerial attack.
And since Putin invaded Ukraine last year, a number of his colonels have been killed.
Colonel Vadim Boyko, 44, who had been involved in the mobilisation campaign, was shot five times in an apparent "suicide".
He reportedly had “multiple bullet wounds" when discovered in his office.
Russian reporting initially said it was "suicide" – but no suicide note has been found.
More than eight allies and intelligence officers close to the dictator have died in mysterious ways.
Anatoly Gerashchenko, the former rector of the Moscow Aviation Institute died after reportedly falling down a series of flights of stairs.
Ivan Pechorin – Putin's point man for developing Russia's vast Arctic resources – reportedly fell off the side of a boat in waters close to Russky Island in mysterious circumstances.
And oil boss Ravil Maganov died after "falling from a hospital window".
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In June, Major-General Sergey Goryachev, 52, was struck and killed by a long-range British-supplied Storm Shadow missile in Zaporizhzhia region, according to Moscow war sources.
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