Ukraine leader defiant as drone strikes hit Russia again

Drones struck military sites inside Russia on Tuesday. A Ukrainian presidential adviser taunted Moscow about the attacks, though Ukraine did not formally confirm carrying out the drone strikes.


World News

December 6, 2022 - 1:56 PM

Mikhail Podolyak

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Drones struck inside Russia’s border with Ukraine Tuesday in the second day of attacks exposing the vulnerability of some of Moscow’s most important military sites, observers said.

Ukrainian officials did not formally confirm carrying out drone strikes inside Russia, and they have maintained ambiguity over previous high-profile attacks.

But Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhail Podolyak taunted Moscow in comments on Twitter, and Britain’s Defense Ministry said Russia was likely to consider the attacks on Russian bases more than 300 miles from the border with Ukraine as “some of the most strategically significant failures of force protection since its invasion of Ukraine.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russian authorities will “take the necessary measures” to enhance protection of key facilities. Russian bloggers who generally maintain contacts with officials in their country’s military criticized the lack of defensive measures.

“If something is launched into other countries’ airspace, sooner or later unknown flying objects will return to the point of departure,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhail Podolyak taunted Moscow in comments on Twitter. “The earth is round.”

A fire broke out at an airport in Russia’s southern Kursk region that borders Ukraine after a drone hit the facility, the region’s governor said Tuesday. In a second incident, an industrial plant 50 miles from the Ukrainian border was also targeted by drones, which missed a fuel depot at the site, Russian independent media reported.

“They will have less aviation equipment after being damaged due to these mysterious explosions,” said Yurii Ihnat, spokesman for the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “This is undoubtedly excellent news because if one or two aircraft fail, then in the future, some more aircraft may fail in some way. This reduces their capabilities.”

Moscow blamed Kyiv for unprecedented attacks on two air bases deep inside Russia on Monday. The attacks on the Engels base in the Saratov region on the Volga River and the Dyagilevo base in the Ryazan region in western Russia were some of the most brazen inside Russia during the war.

In the aftermath, Russian troops carried out another wave of missile strikes on Ukrainian territory struck homes and buildings and killed civilians, compounding damage done to power and other infrastructure over weeks of missile attacks.

Approximately half of households in the Kyiv region remain without electricity, the regional governor said Tuesday, while authorities in the southern Odesa say they have managed to restore power to hospitals and some vital services.

In a new display of defiance from Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy traveled to an eastern city near the front line. Marking Ukraine’s Armed Forces Day, Zelenskyy traveled to the eastern Donetsk region and vowed to push Russian forces out of all of Ukraine’s territory.

“Everyone sees your strength and your skill. … I’m grateful to your parents. They raised real heroes,” Zelenskyy said Tuesday in a video address to Ukrainian forces from the city of Sloviansk, a key Ukrainian stronghold in the east.

The Tu-141 Strizh (Swift) drone entered service with the Soviet air force in the 1970s and was designed for reconnaissance duties. It can be fitted with a warhead that effectively turns into a cruise missile.

Unlike modern drones, it can only stay in the air for a limited amount of time and fly straight to its designated target.

Its outdated technology makes it easily detectable by modern air defense systems and easy to shoot down.

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