At least three missile-carrying strategic bombers and a fuel truck were damaged Monday on the Engels-2 airbase in the Saratov region of Russia and the airfield near Ryazan. The next day, a drone set fire to an oil storage tank on the Kursk airfield.
Reports, including social media, on the number of the Tu-95 planes disabled on Monday vary between two, officially confirmed by the Russian Ministry of Defense as “lightly damaged,” and eight.
The Russian MoD says Ukraine attacked the airfields with Tu-141 Strizh a Soviet reconnaissance drone. However, The Aviationist in this connection mentions that Ukrainian company Ukrobonoprom has recently developed and successfully tested a suicide drone with a 75 kg warhead and a range of up to 1,000 km. (The Engels air base is some 650 km from the Ukrainian border.)
Anyway, according to BBC, Ukraine has not officially commented on the explosions. However, its air force tweeted “what happened?” together with a partying face emoji and images of what looked like a badly damaged aircraft.
EU spokesman Peter Stano at a briefing in Brussels said the EU does not comment on the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine and does not have the means to verify reports of incidents that happened on the morning of Dec. 5 at military airfields in Russia, but recognizes Ukraine’s right to self-defense and supports it in the exercise of such a right, according to Ukrinform.
“Ukraine has all the rights enshrined in international law to defend itself, as well as its people and its territory, from this [Russian] aggression,” he said.