Ukraine’s Drones Keep Hitting Russia’s Bomber Bases. Now Russian Missile Crews Are Getting Jumpy.

Ukraine’s military apparently sent more explosive-laden drones to strike a Russian air force base near Moscow on December 29.

It was the fourth such raid in at least a month, and it appears to have spooked Russian air defenses. If you believe the rumors on social media, in the chaos that followed the attack, a Russian missile battery was shot down by a Russian Air Force Su-27 fighter jet.

The alleged shooting, if it happened, is a big story if— It may reflect a similar incident in Kiev during the harsh first days of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, which began at the end of February. Jump on that story Ukrainian Air defenses may have been shot down Ukrainian Air Force Su-27.

We don’t know much about the Dec. 29 raid on Engels, a bomber base 400 miles southeast of Moscow. We know more about the previous attacks on the same base on December 26th and December 5th.

Russian media have confirmed that Ukrainian drones were responsible for previous raids. The drones are likely to be 1970s-vintage, jet-powered Tu-141 reconnaissance vehicles that the Ukrainians took out of storage, loaded with explosives, and programmed to strike Engels.

A Tu-95 bomber Tu-95 was damaged in a raid on Engels on December 5. A Tupolev Tu-22M bomber was damaged in a simultaneous attack on Diaghilev Air Base, 100 miles southeast of Moscow. Three Russian soldiers were killed in the raid in Diaghilev.

The December 26th attack seems to have been a bust for mostly Ukrainians. Russian air defenses reported shooting down an approaching drone or unmanned aerial vehicle. Three Russian soldiers are reported to be trapped under the rubble.

The attack on December 29 did not seem to be able to harm Engels. The governor of the surrounding Saratov region, Roman Busargin, confirmed the destruction of the Ukrainian drone and denied reports that local students were evacuating their schools.

At the same time, users of the Telegram social networking application spread rumors around Engels that Russian air defenses had fired on their radars – which turned out to be a Russian Su-27. The pilot is said to have died.

There’s a good chance this isn’t true. It should be noted that Busargin did not say anything about the alleged shooting. There is no video or photo evidence of the incident. Even though.

But, of course, there is precedent for shooting down with friendly-fire. On July 17, Russian air defense forces shot down a Sukhoi Su-34M, one of the best aircraft of the Russian Air Force, in the vicinity of the Russian-occupied city of Alchevsk in eastern Ukraine.

Russian campaigner Yevgeny Poddubny captured the incident on video — and a separate video of the plane’s wreckage confirmed the plane’s identity.

Five months ago, on February 25, a Su-27 plane of the Ukrainian Air Force exploded while patrolling Kiev. As a result, the famous pilot Alexander Oksanchenko died.

Although the February downing was theoretically responsible for the longest and most fortunate firing from a battery of Russian S-400 missiles located somewhere in Belarus, some media reported that a Ukrainian missile was more likely. the battery mistook the Sukhoi for a Russian plane.

It was the first full day of the full-scale war — and Russian planes were thick in the skies over north-central Ukraine. “Both Russian and Ukrainian aircraft were threatened by friendly fire at this time,” explained Mykhailo Zabrodsky, Jack Watling, Alexander Danylyuk and Nick Reynolds in a study at the Royal United Services Institute in London.

The same fear and confusion that made the skies of Kyiv so dangerous in February may now be engulfing the airspace of Saratov Oblast.

Yes, the Russian missile batteries are shooting down most, if not most, of the drones the Ukrainians are throwing at Engels and Diaghilev. But they don’t shoot everything drones – and they can pose a threat to friendly aircraft as well.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense: “Russia has long prioritized an advanced ground-based air defense force.” said“But it’s becoming increasingly clear that it is dealing with air threats inside Russia.”

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