‘Ukrainian drone attack’ hits ANOTHER Russian airbase a day after strike damaged two nuclear bombers
- An explosion rocks a Russian air base near the city of Kursk, 60 miles from Ukraine
- Tankers reportedly hit, fireball rising high in night sky
- Comes a day after similar explosions hit airports near the cities of Saratov and Ryazan, which the Russian Defense Ministry blamed on Ukrainian drone strikes
Flames engulf a Russian airbase near the border with Ukraine today after a suspected third drone strike in just two days.
Tankers at a base near the city of Kursk, about 60 miles from the border, were on fire and smoke billowed into the sky early Tuesday morning.
The cause of the fire is currently unknown, but it comes just a day after two similar explosions damaged airbases in Saratov and Ryazan, which the Russian Defense Ministry blamed on Ukrainian drones.
These strikes, on Engels-2 airfield and Dyagilevo air base, damaged two nuclear-capable bombers preparing for an attack on Ukraine, killed three ground personnel and injured two others.
Tankers at an air base near the Russian city of Kursk were set on fire on Tuesday morning after another suspected Ukrainian drone strike
Smoke fills the dawn sky in Kursk, a Russian city 60 miles from the Ukrainian border, after a suspected strike on an airbase there
Video shows flames lighting up the night sky near Kursk after a suspected Ukrainian strike on a Russian air base – the third in two days
Russian military bloggers have suggested the attacks were carried out using a repurposed Tupolev Tu-141 Strizh – a Cold War-era Soviet reconnaissance drone – but this has not been confirmed.
Ukraine rarely confirms strikes on Russian territory, but it is believed to be behind dozens of explosions at fuel depots and ammunition dumps supplying Russian forces fighting in the east of the country.
Bryansk, Kursk and Belgorod – three regions that immediately border Ukraine and have been used as staging points for assaults – have all been repeatedly hit.
It has never been confirmed how these attacks were carried out, but drones have been credited with some of them.
However, the tactic of using drones to strike Russian airbases directly – as opposed to the facilities that provide them – appears to be new, and Ukraine appears to be able to strike much further into Russia than previously thought. previously.
Footage has emerged from Engels and Dyagilevo bases where they were hit, with footage from the latter showing a nuclear-capable Tu-22M3 bomber with a damaged tail.
Under its wing hangs a Kh-22 missile – obviously ready for a strike on Ukraine.
This suggests the drone’s alleged mission has stopped at least one of the missile barrages Russia has targeted Ukraine in recent days in an attempt to disable electricity and other vital supplies in an attack. considered to be targeting civilians.
Satellite images released last week showed bombers at Engels airbase carrying similar missiles, as analysts warned a “large-scale attack” on Ukraine’s power grid was “imminent”.
Three were killed and others injured in this attack.
Satellite images also confirmed burn marks next to a Tu-22M bomber.
The other attack took place at the Engels air base in the Saratov region where two Tu-95 strategic bombers were reportedly damaged.
The obvious reach of Ukrainian drones inside Russia has angered pro-war commentators in Moscow who have questioned the capability of air defenses.
Sergei Mardan, a military columnist for the major newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, demanded revenge strikes.
“How can we help Kursk? Only with a strike against Kyiv,” he said.
Kursk Regional Governor Roman Starovoyt, a henchman of Vladimir Putin, said: “An oil tank is on fire as a result of a drone attack near Kursk airfield. There are no victims. The fire is currently localized.
All emergency services are working on the scene at Kursk-Vostochny Airport which is normally used for both civilian and military aircraft.
There have been no civilian flights from this airport since the start of the war.
Russia claims Ukraine used Soviet Tu-141 reconnaissance drones called Strizh to mount the attacks.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the drones were hit by air defenses, but debris fell, causing damage to planes on the ground.
Tu-95 bombers (left) and Tu-160 planes (right) were pictured next to long containers (centre) which experts said were likely ammunition boxes for cruise missiles