KYIV, Ukraine ( Associated Press) — Russia’s military said Monday it shot down a Ukrainian drone approaching an airbase on Russian territory, the second time the airbase has been attacked this month, in a test of the effectiveness of Russia’s air defenses. Raising questions about if drones can get this far inside the country.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said the incident happened in the early hours of Monday and three servicemen were killed by debris at the Engels airbase, home of the Tu-95 and Tu-160 nuclear-capable strategic bombers involved in the attack. against Ukraine. ,
Engels is in Russia’s Saratov region on the Volga River, 600 kilometers (over 370 mi) east of the border with Ukraine.
The ministry said there was no damage to the Russian aircraft.
Speaking to Ukrainian television on Monday, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuri Ihnat did not directly acknowledge his country’s involvement in Monday’s incident, but said “these are the consequences of Russian aggression.”
“If the Russians thought that the war would not affect them in the deep rear, they were greatly mistaken,” he said.
Ukrainian authorities have never confirmed the shipment of the drones to Russia. They have remained vague about previous high-profile attacks, including a drone attack on Russian military bases earlier this month.
On 5 December, three soldiers were killed and four others were injured in unprecedented drone attacks on the Engels and Diagilevo bases in western Russia’s Ryazan region. The attacks on the airbase were followed by a massive retaliatory missile launch in Ukraine, which hit houses and buildings, killing civilians.
In Ukraine, at least four civilians have been wounded in Russian attacks in five regions in the country’s southeast over the past 24 hours, according to Kirilo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office. In general, the intensity of attacks from Sunday night to Monday has been low.