Explosions reported at two Russian air bases far from front line, in apparent drone strikes


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FILE – In this image from video provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, a Tu-95 strategic bomber from the Russian air force prepares to take off from an air base in Engels near the Volga River in Russia, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File) AP

Explosions reported at two Russian air bases far from front line, in apparent drone strikes

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Explosions were reported at two Russian air bases far from the front line in Ukraine, including a base with nuclear-capable bombers, in an apparent drone strike.

The first explosion was reported at Engels-2 air base near Saratov, approximately 435 miles from Ukraine’s closest city, and the second at Dyagilevo air base near Ryazan, nearly 350 miles from Ukraine’s closest city, according to Readovka. Russian officials have claimed Ukrainian kamikaze drones were responsible. The alleged attacks would be two of the most daring in the war, occurring the farthest behind Russian lines yet.


“On the morning of December 5, the Kyiv regime, in order to disable Russian long-range aircraft, made attempts to strike with Soviet-made jet unmanned aerial vehicles at the military airfields ‘Dyagilevo’ in the Ryazan region and ‘Engels’ in the Saratov region,” the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement, obtained by RIA Novosti.

At Dyagilevo, a fuel truck exploded, killing three soldiers and injuring four, according to Readovka and confirmed by the Russian MOD. Two TU-95 strategic bombers received minor damage at the Engels air base.

Mikhailo Podalyak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, released a cryptic statement about the attacks, seemingly confirming their aerial nature.

“The Earth is round — discovery made by Galileo. Astronomy was not studied in Kremlin, giving preference to court astrologers. If it was, they would know: if something is launched into other countries’ airspace, sooner or later unknown flying objects will return to departure point,” he said.


Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov told the press that President Vladimir Putin was made aware of the attacks but didn’t comment further. Ryazan Gov. Roman Busargin assured the public that there were no “emergencies” in residential areas and that the “loud bang” at the nearby military facility is being investigated by law enforcement agencies.

Popular Russian nationalist social media channels despaired at the humiliation from the strikes.


“Really, can you imagine the level of decibels of laughter in the U.S. headquarters?” Dmitri Konanikhin wrote in a message relayed by the popular Russian OSINT channel Rybar. “Russia’s strategic nuclear forces can be beaten with penny drones. Russia’s strategic nuclear forces are not covered in any way. Russia’s strategic nuclear forces are helpless. The 60-year-old fear of the Caribbean crisis has disappeared, evaporated, avenged.”

“Who can say in which academy they teach that airfields must be guarded during the war? Or is it a secret sacred knowledge that is transmitted only to the elect?” popular Russian nationalist Vladlen Tatarsky wrote, directing his ire toward the Russian high command.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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