‘Ukraine drone strike’ hits ANOTHER Russian airbase a day after attack damaged two nuclear bombers
- Explosion rocks Russian airbase near Kursk city, 60 miles from Ukraine
- The tankers are believed to have been hit, with a fireball rising into the night sky
- It comes a day after similar explosions hit airports near the cities of Saratov and Ryazan, which the Russian Defense Ministry has blamed on Ukrainian drone strikes.
Flames are engulfing a Russian airbase near the Ukrainian border today after a third alleged drone strike in just two days.
Tankers at a base near the city of Kursk, about 60 miles from the border, were ablaze and spewing smoke 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.
Those strikes, at Engels-2 airfield and Dyagilevo airbase, damaged two nuclear-capable bombers thought to be preparing for a strike against Ukraine, killed three ground crew and wounded two more.
Russian military bloggers have suggested that 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 attacks on Russian soil but is believed to be behind dozens of explosions at fuel depots and ammunition depots supplying Russian forces fighting in the country’s east.
Bryansk, Kursk and Belgorod, three regions that immediately border Ukraine and have been used as launching points for attacks, have been hit several times.
How those attacks were carried out has never been confirmed, but some of them have been credited with drones.
However, the tactic of using drones to directly attack Russian airbases, as opposed to the facilities that supply them, appears to be new.
Images of the Engels and Dyagilevo bases where they came under attack have emerged, with images from the latter showing a nuclear-capable Tu-22M3 bomber with a damaged tail.
Suspended under its wing is a Kh-22 missile, evidently ready to strike Ukraine.
This suggests that the alleged drone mission stopped at least one of the missiles that Russia has aimed at Ukraine in recent days in an attempt to disable electricity and other vital supplies in an attack believed to be targeting civilians.
Three died and more were injured in this attack.
Satellite images also confirmed traces of burning next to a Tu-22M bomber.
The other attack was on the Engels airbase in the Saratov region, where two Tu-95 strategic bombers were reportedly damaged.
The obvious range of Ukrainian drones inside Russia has angered pro-war commentators in Moscow who have questioned the capabilities of the air defences.
Sergei Mardan, a military columnist for the leading newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, called for revenge attacks.
“How can we help Kursk? Only with one goal against Kyiv, ”he said.
Kursk Regional Governor Roman Starovoyt, a Vladimir Putin henchman, stated: “An oil tank is on fire as a result of a drone strike near the Kursk airfield. There are no casualties. The fire is currently being traced “.
All emergency services are working on the scene at Kursk-Vostochny airport, which is normally used for both civil and military aircraft.
There have been no civilian flights from this airport since the beginning of the war.
Russia claims that Ukraine has used Soviet Tu-141 reconnaissance drones called Strizh to mount the attacks.
The Russian Defense Ministry claimed the drones were hit by air defenses, but debris fell and caused damage to planes on the ground.
Tu-95 bombers (left) and Tu-160 jets (right) are pictured next to long containers (center) that experts say were likely crates of ammunition for cruise missiles.