‘Drone strike’ hits Russian airfield day after other military air bases targeted


Russia Ukraine
A firefighter works at the scene of a burning shop damaged in shelling by Ukrainian forces in a street in Donetsk, the capital of Russian-controlled Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov) Alexei Alexandrov/AP

‘Drone strike’ hits Russian airfield day after other military air bases targeted

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A drone strike hit an oil storage tank at an airfield in Kursk, Russia, a day after two other military airfields were hit by drone strikes, according to the regional governor.

Video footage on social media appeared to show a large explosion lighting up the sky early Tuesday morning. The fire at the airfield was roughly 60 miles from the Ukrainian border.


“As a result of a drone attack, an oil tanker caught fire near Kursk airfield,” Kursk Gov. Roman Starovoit said on Telegram. “There were no casualties. The fire is being localized. Emergency services are working at the site.”

A day earlier, there were explosions reported at Engels-2 air base near Saratov, approximately 435 miles from Ukraine’s closest city, and at Dyagilevo air base near Ryazan, nearly 350 miles from Ukraine’s closest city, according to Readovka.

If Ukraine is responsible for Monday and Tuesday’s strikes, it would demonstrate a new level of willingness from Kyiv to bring the war to Russia and could mark another turning point in the nine-month-long conflict.

Mikhailo Podalyak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, released a vague statement seemingly about the attacks, saying, “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.”

The Institute for the Study of War said in its Monday update that the two Monday strikes inflicted “light damage while demonstrating Ukraine’s ability to strike Russian rear areas and possibly disrupt Russia’s campaign of strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure.”

Also on Monday, Russian forces conducted another wave of missile strikes targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, though Ukraine’s air defenses shot down roughly 60 of the more than 70 missiles launched.

“Anger over the Russian military’s inability to prevent the Ukrainian strikes on Russian strategic air bases over 280 miles from Ukrainian positions outweighed praise for the latest round of strikes against Ukraine within the Russian milblogger community. Russian milbloggers criticized Russian officials for failing to anticipate and prevent the drone strikes,” the ISW said. “Select milbloggers noted that Russian military officials have not adequately protected the air bases, with some suggesting that Russian officials did not adequately defend the bases despite knowing that they were clear targets for Ukrainian strikes.”

Russian forces are “inflicting massive strikes” carried out with “long-range precision weapons” on Ukraine, said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Tuesday, according to CNN.


Secretary of State Antony Blinken declined to add any new insight into the strikes at Engels-2 air base and at Dyagilevo air base during Monday’s Wall Street Journal CEO Council Summit.

“I don’t have anything further to add to it except this: Every single day, we are seeing explosions across the entirety of Ukraine as Russia tries to take out its energy infrastructure,” he said. “That’s the current reality in Ukraine. That’s what’s happening … quite literally every day.”

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