Moscow said on Monday it had thwarted a new Ukrainian drone attack on a strategic bomber military base hundreds of kilometers from their shared border, amid Kyiv’s calls for Russia to withdraw from the United Nations.
Russia said it shot down the drone in Engels, a base for the country’s strategic aircraft, which Kyiv said was used to attack Ukraine. Local authorities said three servicemen were killed by falling debris.
On the same day, Russia’s internal security agency said it had killed four Ukrainian “sabotage elements” it said were trying to enter Russia through the border area.
Moscow has accused pro-Kyiv forces of targeting Russian military bases and civilian infrastructure, including blowing up a bridge linking Crimea to Russia.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday it shot down a Ukrainian drone at Engels airfield in the southern Saratov region, more than 600 kilometers (370 miles) from the Ukrainian border.
It was the second attack on Engels airport in less than a month and the deepest on Russian soil since President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24.
In early December, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that Ukrainian drone strikes led to explosions at two airports, including Engels, killing three people. The ministry said at the time that the airports were the target of Soviet-made drones.
Separately, Russia’s FSB security service claimed on Monday that it had killed a group of armed saboteurs from Ukraine who were trying to bring “improvised explosive devices” into the Bryansk region.
A video released by the FSB showed several bloodstained bodies lying on the ground, wearing winter camouflage and carrying guns.
Kyiv had no immediate comment.
The attacks come 10 months after Moscow launched an offensive in Ukraine that has been hitting the country’s energy grid, leaving millions in cold and darkness in the dead of winter.
– ‘United with the Russian people’ –
Ukraine on Monday urged the exclusion of Russia – a permanent member of the UN Security Council – from the world body.
“Ukraine calls on member states of the United Nations … to deprive the Russian Federation of its permanent membership in the UN Security Council and exclude it from the entire United Nations,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
“We have a very simple question: does Russia have the right to continue as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and to remain in the UN?” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Sunday.
“We have a convincing and plausible answer — no, it doesn’t.”
The five permanent members of the 15-seat Security Council have veto power and can block any resolution.
In Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelensky said rolling blackouts continued across the country, with 9 million people without power on Monday night, as engineers worked to patch the country’s damaged grid during the winter holidays .
Despite mounting human and material losses and growing international isolation, Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown no readiness to change tack.
On Sunday, Putin said his attack on Ukraine was aimed at “unifying the Russian people”, accusing his country of “geopolitical rivals aiming to divide Russia, the Russia of history”.
The head of the Kremlin has reiterated the concept of “historical Russia”, arguing that Ukrainians and Russians are one and the same people.
“Divide and conquer, that’s what they’ve been seeking to achieve and are still seeking to achieve,” Putin said in a television interview, referring to the West.
“But our goal is different: it’s about uniting the Russian people.”
He said Moscow was ready for talks and appeared unconcerned when asked about the new air defense system the United States would supply Ukraine.
“Of course we will destroy it, 100%!” Putin said, referring to the Patriot missile pad promised to Zelensky.
Last week, Zelensky received a firm pledge of support from Washington — including the Pentagon’s most advanced air defense system — during his first departure from Ukraine since the conflict began.
Western military and financial assistance has been crucial to Ukraine’s push back against Russian forces — including aid from the southern city of Kherson, the only regional capital Russia controls.
Despite Russia’s retreat from the city, it remains within range of Moscow’s weapons and under constant threat.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from syndicated feeds.)
Featured Video of the Day
‘Why did he do it’: Actor Tunisha Sharma’s uncle on religious divide