Russia shoots down Ukrainian drone near its Engels airbase

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Russia Shoots Down Ukrainian Drone Near Its Engels Airbase
A Ukrainian soldier watches a drone feed from an underground command centre in the Donetsk region, Š AP/Press Association Images
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By Associated Press Reporters

The Russian military reported on Monday that it shot down a Ukrainian drone approaching an airbase deep inside Russia.

It is the second time the Engels airbase has been targeted this month, raising questions about the effectiveness of Russia’s air defences if drones can fly that far into the country.

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Russia’s Defence Ministry said the incident took place in the early hours of Monday, and three servicemen were killed by debris at the base, which houses the Tu-95 and Tu-160 nuclear-capable strategic bombers that have been involved in launching strikes on Ukraine.

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A Ukrainian soldier watches a drone feed from an underground command centre in Bakhmut in the Donetsk region (Libkos/AP)

Engels is located in Russia’s Saratov region on the Volga River, more than 370 miles (600km) east of the border with Ukraine.

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No damage was inflicted on Russian aircraft, the ministry said.

It is the second time Engels has been targeted by Ukrainian drones.

On December 5th, unprecedented drone strikes on Engels and the Dyagilevo base in the Ryazan region in western Russia killed a total of three servicemen and injured four others.

The strikes on the airbases were followed by a massive retaliatory missile barrage in Ukraine which struck homes and buildings and killed civilians.

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In Ukraine, overnight from Sunday to Monday appeared unusually quiet.

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A Ukrainian soldier in an underground command centre in the Donetsk region (Libkos/AP)

For the first time in weeks, Russian forces did not shell the Dnipropetrovsk region, which borders the partially occupied southern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, its governor, Valentyn Reznichenko, reported on Telegram.

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“This is the third quiet night in 5.5 months since the Russians started shelling” the areas around the city of Nikopol, he wrote.

Nikopol is located across the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is under control of the Russian forces.

Ukrainian-controlled areas of the neighbouring Kherson region were shelled 33 times over the past 24 hours, according to Kherson’s Ukrainian governor, Yaroslav Yanushevich. There were no casualties.

On Saturday, a deadly attack on the city of Kherson, which was retaken by Kyiv’s forces last month, killed and wounded scores of people.

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