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Ukraine attacked Russian air bases with explosive drones in December, says HUR


Strizh drones attacked Russian air bases Engels and Dyagilevo in December 2022 (Photo:Video screenshot HUR/YouTube)

Ukrainian intelligence was behind a daring assault on two Russian military air bases, Engels and Dyagilevo, both located approximately 500 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, in December 2022, Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate or HUR has revealed. Informs NV.The covert operation involved the deployment of Soviet-era Tu-141 Strizh reconnaissance drones armed with explosives, resulting in substantial damage to several Russian strategic bombers, it was revealed in the documentary "Downed Russian Pilots," part of the ongoing series “Ukraine’s Military Intelligence.”


However, conducting air interceptions against missile carriers utilized by Moscow for shelling Ukraine is currently deemed unfeasible due to launch sites being over 1,000 kilometers away, said HUR chief Kyrylo Budanov.


Nevertheless, in December 2022, Ukraine's intelligence agency executed two ground operations with the aim of targeting missile carriers.


A Ukrainian Strizh drone launched an attack on the Dyagilevo military air base in Ryazan Oblast on the night of Dec. 5, causing significant damage to two strategic bombers – a Tu-95 and a Tu-22 – as well as an aviation refueling truck.


"Huge pools of blood were left beneath (the drone) in the photos – six Russian soldiers died, and eleven were wounded,” said the documentary.


Shortly thereafter, during the early morning hours, another Strizh drone targeted another Russian long-range aviation base in the city of Engels, Saratov Oblast. This resulted in damage to two Tu-95 bombers.


The damage to the bombers due to impacts by unidentified unmanned aerial vehicles at both air bases was confirmed through satellite imagery.


The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that three Russian military personnel were killed, and four more were injured in these incidents.


While Russian authorities suggested the possibility of Strizh drone attacks, Ukrainian officials only mentioned that the amount of Russian "aviation equipment would decrease" following these explosions.


After these incidents, there were multiple reports of explosions and strikes targeting military installations at Russian airfields in the capital and other cities.


Drones attacked the Soltsy airfield in Novgorod Oblast on Aug. 19, destroying a Russian Tu-22M3 aircraft.


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