Russia claims to have shot down a Ukrainian drone near an airbase

Kyiv: The Russian army announced on Monday that it had shot down a Ukrainian drone approaching an airbase deep in Russia, the second time the airbase has been targeted this month, raising questions about the effectiveness of Russia’s air defenses whether drones can fly too far in the country.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the incident occurred in the early hours of Monday and three servicemen were killed by debris at the Engels air base which houses the Tu-95 and nuclear-capable strategic bombers. Tu-160s that were involved in launching strikes against Ukraine. .
Engels is located in Russia’s Saratov region on the Volga, more than 600 kilometers (over 370 miles) east of the border with Ukraine.
No damage was inflicted on the Russian planes, the ministry said.
Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat, speaking to Ukrainian television on Monday, did not directly acknowledge his country’s involvement in Monday’s incident, but said: ” These are the consequences of Russian aggression.”
He added: “If the Russians thought the war would not affect them from afar, they were deeply mistaken.”
Ukrainian officials have never confirmed sending drones to Russia. They maintained ambiguity over previous high-profile attacks, including drone strikes on Russian military bases earlier this month.
On December 5, unprecedented drone strikes on Engels and the Dyagilevo base in the Ryazan region of western Russia killed a total of three servicemen and injured four others. The airbase strikes were followed by a massive retaliatory missile barrage in Ukraine that struck homes and buildings and killed civilians.
In Ukraine, at least four civilians have been injured in Russian shelling of five southeastern regions of the country in the past 24 hours, according to the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko. Overall, the intensity of shelling overnight from Sunday to Monday was significantly lower.
For the first time in weeks, Russian forces did not shell the Dnipropetrovsk region, which borders the partially occupied southern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhiaits governor, Valentin Reznichenko, reported on Telegram.
“This is the third quiet night in 5.5 months since the Russians started shelling” the areas around the town of Nikopol, Reznichenko wrote. Nikopol is located across the Dnieper from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is under the control of Russian forces.
Ukrainian-controlled areas in the neighboring Kherson region have been shelled 33 times in the past 24 hours, according to Ukrainian Kherson Governor Yaroslav Yanushevich. There were no casualties.
On Sunday, Russian forces attacked the town of Kramatorsk, where the headquarters of Ukrainian forces are located. Three missiles hit an industrial facility and damaged residential buildings, but no casualties were reported, according to the Ukrainian Presidency battlefield report.
In the partially occupied eastern region of Donetsk, heavy fighting continues around the town of Bakhmut, which Russian forces have been trying to capture for weeks to cement their grip on eastern Ukraine.
In the neighboring region of Luhansk, which is almost entirely under Moscow’s control, Russian forces “suffer enormous losses and medical facilities are overwhelmed with wounded soldiers”, the Ukrainian governor of Luhansk told Ukrainian television on Monday, Serhiy Haidai. The Russian military is in the process of redeploying paratroopers from the Kherson region to the region, Haidai said.
A deadly attack on the city of Kherson on Saturday, which was taken over by Kyiv forces last month, left dozens dead and injured. Local residents are lining up to donate blood to those injured in the deadly attack, Governor Yaroslav Yanushevich said on Monday.

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