Ukraine drone attack hits Russian airbase

The raid has been interpreted as further evidence of Ukraine's heightened capability to launch long-range attacks against Russian threats.

According to Moscow, three people have died as a result of an attack by a Ukrainian drone on a bomber airbase in southern Russia.

The drone was shot down by air defences close to the Engels base, but the falling debris killed three technical workers, according to the defence ministry.

While the state-run Ria-Novosti news agency, quoting the defence ministry, claimed that air defences shot down a Ukrainian drone that was heading towards the facility, Russian Telegram channels reported a powerful explosion and a fire. Approximately 600 kilometres northeast of the Ukrainian border is where the Engels Air Base is located. 

This second long-range attack on one of Russia’s most crucial strategic locations, which is home to nuclear-capable bombers, struck on the same day that the Russian army was commemorating the 107th anniversary of the establishment of its air defence forces, dealing a symbolic blow.

Although the air force spokesman, Yuriy Ihnat, claimed the explosions were a result of what Russia was doing on Ukrainian soil, the Ukrainian military did not formally acknowledge the latest strike.

A few hours later, the Russian security service FSB declared that it had executed a four-person “sabotage group” that had been attempting to cross the Ukrainian border into Bryansk on Russian soil while carrying submachine guns and IEDs built in Germany. Although there is no other independent corroboration of the occurrence, the FSB published video of what it claimed to be the “liquidation” of the gang.

There were many calls for increased security surrounding Russian military stations following the attacks on December 5; but, the most recent attack implies that has not happened.

Separately, on Monday, the foreign ministry of Ukraine urged that Russia be removed as one of the UN Security Council’s five permanent members and advocated for its expulsion from the organisation “as a whole.”