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Russia says Ukraine launched new drone attack on Engels airbase in Saratov

Russia’s Engels airbase was targeted by a drone

Russian air defense shot down a Ukrainian drone when he attacked one base in the south of Russiaand the remains of the apparatus they killed three peoplelocal news agencies reported on Monday.

“On December 26, around 01:35 AM Moscow (22:35 GMT), a Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down as it approached the Engels airbase in the Saratov region”, reported the Russian agency TASS, citing the Defense Ministry.

“As a result of falling debris from the drone, three Russian technical officers who were at the airbase suffered fatal injuries”, TASS added.

The city of Engels, in the southern region of Saratov, is more than 600 kilometers from the border with Ukraine.

According to TASS, the Ministry of Defense indicated that no damage to the aircraft.

The governor of Saratov, Roman Busargin, stated that there was “absolutely no threat” against the inhabitants, and that no civilian infrastructure had been damaged. In addition, he called on citizens to be vigilant against “false information”, citing the strict legislation adopted in Russia in the wake of the offensive in Ukraine, launched in February.

“All the stories about the evacuation of the city are outright lies, created far from the borders of our country,” he said.

This Monday was the second attack on Engels airbase so far this month. On December 5, Moscow reported that Ukrainian drones set off explosions at that and another base in the Ryazan region. On that occasion, due to the falling fragments of the drones -according to the official report-, three soldiers died, another four were injured and two planes suffered minor damage to their fuselage.

A satellite image shows a bomber in flight northeast of the Engels airbase in Saratov, Russia.  December 3 (Maxar/Reuters)
A satellite image shows a bomber in flight northeast of the Engels airbase in Saratov, Russia. December 3 (Maxar/Reuters)

kyiv has not commented on the incident.

Russia has already accused Ukraine of attacking its territory and the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Moscow, with drones on other occasions.

In late October, Russia blamed Ukraine for a “massive” drone strike against its Black Sea Fleet in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol. But Engels’ attack was the deepest on Russian soil since the fighting began.

In Ukraine, the night from Sunday to Monday was unusually quiet. For the first time in weeks, Russian forces did not shell the Dnipropetrovsk regionbordering the partially occupied southern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, its governor Valentyn Reznichenko reported on Telegram.

“It’s the third quiet night in five and a half months since the Russians started shelling” the area around the city of Nikopol, Reznichenko wrote. Nikopol is located across the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is under the control of Russian forces.

Ukrainian-controlled areas of the neighboring Kherson region were shelled 33 times in the last 24 hours, according to the Ukrainian governor of Kherson, Yaroslav Yanushevich. There were no victims.

On Saturday, a deadly attack on the city of Kherson, retaken by kyiv forces last month, left dozens dead and injured.

(With information from AFP, EFE, AP)

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