Ukraine’s forces launched unmanned aerial drone attacks on two military bases deep inside Russia on Monday amid the latest wave of Russian missile strikes on Ukrainian cities, raising fears of an escalation in the nine-month war.
In what The New York Times described as “its most brazen attack into Russian territory,” Ukraine’s military fitted antique Soviet-era Tupolev T-141 photo-reconnaissance drones with explosive warheads and launched them at two bases hundreds of miles from the Ukrainian border. One of the strikes reportedly killed three Russian troops and wounded four others, while damaging two warplanes.
According to the Times:
The Engels airfield, on the Volga River in southern Russia, is a base for some of Russia’s long-range, nuclear-capable bombers, including the Tupolev-160 and Tupolev-95. Ukrainian officials say it is also a staging ground for Russia’s unrelenting campaign of missile attacks on infrastructure, which have left millions of Ukrainians with intermittent light, heat or water—or none at all—at the onset of winter…
The other explosion occurred at the Dyagilevo military base in the central city of Ryazan, only about 100 miles from Moscow, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry. It was there that the fatalities and injuries occurred, the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported.
While some observers argued that Ukraine’s attacks on Russia constitute a “dangerous escalation,” others—especially Ukrainians—called Russian air bases from which deadly attacks on Ukrainian civilians are launched “legitimate targets.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Monday that at least four people were killed in the latest Russian attacks, and that most of the approximately 70 missiles launched against Ukraine were shot down.
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