Ukraine attacks Russian airbases with drones, leaving damages and killing 3 officers

Satellite image of attacked Engels Airbase in Russia and a Soviet-era drone
Satellite image of attacked Engels Airbase in Russia (Up); Soviet-era drone (Down)

Ukraine drones attacked Russian airbases in what can be described as a new escalation in the conflict.

Ukraine used unmanned drones to attack two military bases hundreds of kilometers inside Russia, according to New York Times, quoting a senior Ukrainian official.

The drones were launched from Ukrainian territory, and according to the publication, at least two planes were destroyed at one of the facilities and several more suffered damage.

Tuesday saw a drone attack destroy a third Russian airport, a day after Ukraine attacked two Russian airbases to show off its newfound capacity to fly hundreds of kilometers inside Russian airspace.

After the most recent hit, authorities in the Russian city of Kursk, which is closer to Ukraine, posted images of a black smoke plume above an airfield early on Tuesday morning. The governor said that an oil storage tank nearby had been set on fire, but no casualties recorded.

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It occurred a day after Russia revealed it had been targeted by what it said were Soviet-era drones – at Engels air base, which houses Russia’s fleet of massive strategic bombers, and in Ryazan, just a few hours drive from Moscow.

“If Russia assesses the incidents were deliberate attacks, it will probably consider them as some of the most strategically significant failures of force protection since its invasion of Ukraine,” Britain’s ministry of defense said on Tuesday.

“The Russian chain of command will probably seek to identify and impose severe sanctions on Russian officers deemed responsible for allowing the incident.”

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Ryazan incident claimed the lives of three military personnel. Although the attacks were focused on military targets, they were described as acts of terrorism with the intention of taking out its long-range aircraft.