Russian airbase hit by blast as Moscow blames Ukraine for drone strike

Three soldiers died in a drone attack on Russia’s Engels-2 airbase, more than 350 miles from the nearest Ukrainian control area, according to Russian authorities.

The Russian Defense Ministry said a Ukrainian drone was shot down by air defenses around 1:35 a.m. local time Monday morning. According to the official report, debris from the drone then killed three Russian military personnel without damaging any aircraft.

Yuriy Ignat, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, hinted at Kiev’s involvement in the attack.

Russian Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bomber
A Russian Tupolev Tu-95 turboprop-powered strategic bomber flies over the Kremlin in Moscow May 7, 2015 during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade. A number of Tupolev Tu-95s are stationed at the Engels-2 airbase, which was hit by a Ukrainian drone on Monday.

Talking to Ukrainian media He said: “These are the consequences of what Russia is doing on our land. If the Russians thought the war wouldn’t hit them deep in the back, they were wrong.

“Things like this are happening more and more often and we hope that Ukraine will only benefit from it.”

A series of videos purportedly showing the explosion have been posted on social media. They have not been independently verified by news week.

Roman Busargin, governor of the Saratov region, which includes the Engels-2 airbase, paid tribute to the dead and insisted there was “absolutely no threat to residents” of the nearby town of Engels itself.

Several experts on social media questioned whether the drone had been shot down by Russian air defenses, as reported from Moscow.

Radio Free Europe reporter Mark Krutov tweeted what he described as footage of the attack, adding: “Doesn’t look like anything was ‘shot down’ by Russian air defenses.”

Ukraine analyst Andrew Perpetua responded sarcastically to the official Russian statement wrote: “Magic air defense deploys just prior to impact?”

Engels-2 is the base for a number of Russian Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bombers that have been involved in the attack on Ukraine since the start of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion on February 24.

The base was previously hit by a drone on Dec. 5 in an attack that killed three soldiers and slightly damaged two planes, according to Russian officials.

On the same day, a separate blast hit a Russian airbase near the town of Ryazan, south of Moscow, which officials also blamed on a Ukrainian drone.

Ukraine did not officially claim responsibility for this attack, but a Ukrainian official said That New York Times The drone had been launched from his country.

The official Twitter account of the Ukrainian Air Force tweeted two photos allegedly showing a damaged aircraft and vehicle after the December 5 attack on Engels-2. They added “What happened?” followed by a party face emoji.

Speaking of financial times After the attacks, a Ukrainian defense official said: “The attacks are repeatable.

“We have no distance limitation and will soon be able to reach any target within Russia, including Siberia.

“In Ukraine we know how difficult it is to defend against such air raids. Soon there will be no safe zones in Russia either.”

Russia has attacked Ukraine’s power grid with drones and missiles in recent months, causing millions of Ukrainians to lose power as temperatures plummeted.

On Christmas Eve, Russian shelling in Ukraine’s Kherson region killed 16 and wounded dozens, according to the local Ukrainian governor.

The Russian Defense Ministry has been asked for comment. Russian airbase hit by blast as Moscow blames Ukraine for drone strike

Rick Schindler

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