MOSCOW: As Kyiv demanded for Russia to be expelled from the UN, Moscow said Monday (Dec. 26) that it has prevented a new Ukrainian drone strike on a key bomber military facility hundreds of kilometers from their shared border.
At Engels, a base for its strategic planes that Kiev claims has been used to attack Ukraine, Russia claimed to have shot down the drone. According to regional authorities, falling debris claimed the lives of three personnel.
The same day, the Russian domestic security service claimed to have murdered four accused “saboteurs” from Ukraine who were trying to enter the country through a border region.
Russian military installations and civilian infrastructure have allegedly been targeted by pro-Kyiv forces, who have also been accused of blowing up a bridge connecting seized Crimea to Russia.
At its Engels airfield in the southern Saratov region, more than 600 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, the Russian defense ministry reported on Monday that it had shot down a Ukrainian drone.
Since President Vladimir Putin committed soldiers to Ukraine on February 24, it was the deepest incursion into Russian territory and the second attack on the Engels airfield in less than a month.
Early in December, the Russian defense ministry reported explosions at two airfields, including Engels, as a result of Ukrainian drone attacks, leaving three people dead. The drones were built in the Soviet Union, according to the ministry at the time.
Separately, the Russian security agency FSB announced on Monday that it had killed a group of armed Ukrainian saboteurs who tried to enter the Bryansk region while carrying “improvised explosive devices.”
The FSB published a video that showed three bloodied bodies sprawled on the ground while clutching rifles and donning winter camouflage.
From Kiev, there was no quick response.
The assaults occurred ten months into Moscow’s onslaught in Ukraine, where Russian airstrikes have been devastating the nation’s electricity grid and leaving millions in the dark and cold in the dead of winter.