Ukraine Drones Again Target Strategic Bomber Base Deep Inside Russia

by State Brief



On Wednesday a wave of Ukrainian drones targeted a well-known airbase deep inside Russia which is home to strategic bombers. The air base, called Engels 2, is near the Russian city by the same name, and nearby residents reported hearing at least four explosions during the attack.

The Main Directorate of Ukraine’s Military Intelligence (HUR) has since owned up to the attack, with sources in Russia confirming to international media that “targets had been hit” and the damage is being assessed.

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Some drones may have been intercepted, however, with Roman Busargin, the governor of the Russian region of Saratov, describing in a statement that a drone attack was “repelled”. This attack is significant given Engels is located over 600km from the Ukraine border. But it’s not the first time it has come under attack during the war.

In December of 2022 there were reports that two Tu-95 bombers were damaged in a similar drone operation from Ukraine. Later that same month explosions were reported at the airbase but the extent of damage on the ground was unclear. During this latter attack, three Russian servicemen were reportedly killed by falling debris after UAVs were intercepted.

A well-known Russian Telegraph channel which reports breaking news related to the Ukraine war said of this newest assault on the airfield: “Preliminary data suggests the anti-aircraft defense system was activated. Residents report hearing a prior siren. There is no official information on casualties or damages.”

Ukraine-based media sources have speculated that something was hit at Engels:

Meanwhile, social media users mentioned a fire at the airfield area post-explosions, with rescuers quickly arriving.

One commentator, residing near the airfield, wrote, “There was at least one direct hit, the rest (of the drones) likely shot down by anti-aircraft missiles. Then came the fire trucks, ambulances, police with flashing lights.”

Engels has long been known to house both Tu-160 and Tu-95MS long-range bombers which are being used in Ukraine, thus it remains a high priority target for Ukraine’s cross-border attacks against Russian territory.

The Kremlin has accused Western intelligence with assisting in such operations. This recently found some degree of positive confirmation in a damning New York Times story detailing the extent of the CIA’s presence in Ukraine going back a decade. The CIA established intelligence outposts along the border with Russia, many of which are likely directing these attacks into Russian territory.

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Feeling emboldened by a string of ‘successes’, including prior attacks and bombings in Crimea but especially destruction of oil refineries, Ukraine forces will likely try to continue hitting targets inside Russia, also as their capability grows given they have been supplied with ever-longer range rockets from the US and NATO countries


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