Mysterious drone strikes kill three soldiers at two Russian airbases

A mystery shrouds the attacks which targeted, Monday, December 5, two Russian air bases located in the center of the country. In a statement, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that “the kyiv regime (…) tried to carry out strikes with Soviet-designed drones on the air base of Diaguilevo in the Ryazan region and that of Engels in the Saratov region”.

If these “jet drones” were intercepted by Russian anti-aircraft defense systems, their debris fell on the territory of the attacked bases, causing explosions there, killing three soldiers, injuring four others and damaging ” slightly “ two planes, according to the text.

The ministry accuses the Ukrainian forces of seeking “to decommission Russian long-range aircraft” used for the strikes that have targeted numerous energy infrastructures on Ukrainian territory in recent weeks. kyiv has so far claimed no responsibility for any of the explosions.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin was briefed on the incidents, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said only. “The president regularly receives information, from the appropriate services, on everything that is happening”he told the press, without further details.

“Finishing touch” to a long-range weapon

The scope of this attack – some 500 to 600 kilometers from the Ukrainian border – raises questions. A priori, the Ukrainian army did not have until now any weapon having the capacity to strike so deeply in Russian territory (the missiles provided by the United States have a much lower range). But the Ukrainian company Ukroboronprom announced at the end of October that it was putting “the finishing touch” to a weapon with a range of a thousand kilometers capable of carrying an explosive charge of 75 kilos.

“Ukroboronprom works better since the large-scale invasion”then added the firm on Facebook. “You are told next to nothing (believe us), but that ‘nothing’ works successfully on the battlefield, and some ‘nothing’ gets results from time to time. We can say that it is not enough. OK. We therefore prefer to work around the clock rather than filling the media space with strong statements. »

In this tense context, Vladimir Putin appeared on television on Monday driving a car crossing the Crimean Bridge, a key infrastructure that connects Russia to this Ukrainian peninsula annexed in 2014 by Moscow. An explosion, attributed by the Kremlin to Ukraine, had damaged it in October.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right), alongside Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khousnullin, visits the Crimean Bridge, December 5, 2022.

A new “massive missile attack” on Ukraine

Moments earlier, anti-aircraft sirens had sounded across Ukraine. However, the alerts were quickly lifted and Volodymyr Zelensky assured that his country’s anti-aircraft defense succeeded in “shoot down most missiles” Russians. According to the Ukrainian president, 70 missiles were fired by Moscow and left four dead.

The Russian army recognized “a massive strike carried out with high-precision weapons” Monday around 1 p.m. (Paris time) which targeted Ukrainian military sites and energy infrastructure linked to Ukrainian forces.

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The country has suffered “an eighth massive missile attack by a terrorist state. Unfortunately, there is already damage to the energy infrastructure”said the Ukrainian national operator Ukrenergo, which warned that emergency power cuts were going to be applied throughout Ukraine. “to maintain the balance between electricity production and consumption”.

. “Electricity will be supplied as a priority to essential infrastructure”added Ukrenergo on Telegram.

Since the fall, and a series of humiliating setbacks, the Russian army has stepped up strikes against Ukrainian energy installations, so much so that most of the civilian population has electricity for only a few hours a day.

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The World with AFP

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