Ukraine update: Russian air bases targeted with damaging drone strikes; Putin visits site of restored Crimean bridge

by Jacob Fuller

Chris Lange, FISM News


Russia is blaming Ukraine for a drone attack that ignited a fire at an airport in the southern Kursk region that borders Ukraine.

Kursk regional governor Roman Starovoy said Tuesday that the strike ignited an oil reservoir in the vicinity of the airport and that crews at the scene were working to contain the blaze.

The announcement came just a day after Moscow blamed Kyiv for drone strikes on two air bases deep inside Russia, including one that houses nuclear-capable bombers. Russia’s Defense Ministry said three Russian servicemen were killed and four others wounded by debris, and that two aircraft were slightly damaged in those attacks, The Associated Press reported.

Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for attacks, though presidential advisor Mikhail Podolyak took to Twitter to taunt the Kremlin in their wake, indicating that what goes around comes around.

Russia launched a barrage of apparent retaliatory missile strikes on Ukrainian territory following the trio of unprecedented strikes on some of Russia’s most strategic military sites, though Kyiv’s military said it struck down several of the missiles.

Russian military bloggers said that the alleged Ukrainian strikes inflicted humiliation on the Kremlin and suggested that they were launched by Ukrainian scouts.

Russia’s defense ministry said the attacks on Russia’s Dyagilevo and Engels bases were part of Ukraine’s efforts to hinder Moscow’s long-range bomber force.

Britain’s Defense Ministry said in its daily intelligence update on the war that Russia would undoubtedly consider the base attacks to be “some of the most strategically significant failures of force protection since its invasion of Ukraine.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that Russian authorities will “take the necessary measures” to enhance the protection of key facilities in light of the attacks.

Speaking in a conference call with reporters, Peskov said that “the Ukrainian regime’s course for continuation of such terror attacks poses a threat.”

Peskov added that Russia sees no prospects for peace talks now, adding that “the Russian Federation must achieve its stated goals.”

Putin visits repaired Crimean bridge

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Crimea Monday, where he made a show of driving a Mercedes over a repaired bridge linking the Crimean Peninsula to Russia’s mainland that was heavily damaged on October by a truck bomb.

Russian television broadcast a discussion between Putin and Marat Khusnullin, the deputy minister overseeing the project, about the repairs. The president also paused to chat with some of the workers responsible for restoring the bridge, the destruction of which was a significant and humiliating blow to the Kremlin.

The bridge serves as a vital supply conduit for Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014 and had been using as a key base for military operations in Ukraine since its Feb. 24 invasion.

Putin also took the opportunity to again stress the importance of building a highway along the coast of the Sea of Azov to link Crimea with regions in southern Russia.

More ‘dangerous packages’ sent to Ukrainian embassies

Ukraine’s foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba reported Tuesday that “dangerous packages” are continuing to show up at international global embassies – most recently arriving at those in Romania and Denmark.

“All that keep sending these packages and terrorizing our embassies, I ask to relax and not to waste their time and money on post stamps. You will achieve nothing,” Kuleba said in an online press conference. At the time of this report, no additional statements or information had been made available.

No one has claimed responsibility for the recent spate of blood-soaked package deliveries sent to at least 19 Ukrainian missions in several European countries that contained animal eyes and foul-smelling liquid. There have been no reports of anyone being harmed by the packages.