Home » Three Russian servicemen killed after drone shot down at air base inside Russia

Three Russian servicemen killed after drone shot down at air base inside Russia

by Mahmmod Shar

By Josh Pennington, Olga Voitovych and Jessie Yeung, CNN

CNN — Three Russian servicemen were killed Monday after a Ukrainian drone was shot down by air defenses as it approached a military airfield in Saratov Oblast, deep inside Russian territory, according to Russian state news agencies, citing the defense ministry.

The incident took place in the western port city of Engels, some 500 miles (more than 800 kilometers) southeast of Moscow, located on the Volga River. It is the second such attempted attack on the city, which houses the Engels-2 military airfield, a strategic bomber airbase, this month.

Law enforcement agencies are now investigating the incident at the airfield, said Saratov Oblast Governor Roman Busargin on Monday. The comments, posted on his official Telegram channel, came after reports circulated of an explosion in the city.

He added that there were “no emergencies in the residential areas of the city,” and that no civilian infrastructure had been damaged. He also extended his condolences to the families of the servicemen, saying the government would provide them with assistance.

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CNN has been unable to independently verify Russian reports the drone was deliberately shot down and did not reach its intended target.

In comments Monday, Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat did not claim direct responsibility for the drone, but did suggest the attack was the “consequence of what Russia is doing.”

“If the Russians thought that the war would not affect anyone in the deep rear (of Russia) or anywhere else, they were deeply mistaken. Therefore, as we see, such things are happening more and more often, and let’s hope that this will only benefit Ukraine,” said Ihnat.

Also on Monday, a spokesperson for South of Ukraine’s Security and Defense Forces warned of a possible retaliatory Russian strike, referencing a similar incident earlier this month in the same region.

The spokesperson stated, “This brings to mind the events of December 5; therefore, there may be some déjà vu, or repetition of this situation, after which [the Russians] launched a massive missile strike. Therefore, we should be ready for it, account for it in our plans, and remember to go to the shelter.

CCTV footage from earlier this month seemed to show an explosion in Engels that lit up the sky. At the time, Governor Busargin also assured locals that no civilian infrastructure had been harmed and that “law enforcement agencies are checking information about incidents at military facilities.”

He had admitted that news of “a loud bang and a burst in Engels in the early morning” was making its way through social media and the press.

The CCTV footage from the early December was taken nearly 6 kilometers away from the Engels-2 airfield.

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