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Russia may see drone attacks on military airbases as significant protection failure, reports UK intelligence

Russia may impose sanctions on officers found responsible for allowing the attack

Ukraine attack A satellite image shows bomber aircrafts at Engels Air Base in Saratov, Russia | Reuters

Britain's defence intelligence on Tuesday said that if Russia assumes the recent drone attacks on its airfields as deliberate attacks by Ukraine, then it reflects its strategical protection failure.

The defence intelligence said, “The causes of the explosions have not been confirmed. However, if Russia assesses the incidents were deliberate attacks, it will probably consider them as some of the most strategically significant failures of force protection since its invasion of Ukraine.” 

Intelligence officials found that the sites of recent attacks were deeper, far away from the Ukraine border compared to such previous explosions. “The sites are much deeper inside Russia than previous similar explosions, Engels is over 600 kilometres from Ukrainian-controlled territory.” 

Three persons got killed and six persons suffered injuries after a fuel tanker exploded at Russia's military airbase in Ryazan, southeast of Moscow. Explosions were also reported at Engels-2 airbase in the Saratov region of Russia. The airbase hosts Tu-95 bombers which were used for cruise missile strikes against Ukraine.

The Engels airbase is the main operation site for Russia's Long Range Aviation and it also houses 30 heavy bombers. “These aircraft contribute to Russia’s nuclear deterrent and have also frequently been used to launch conventional cruise missiles at Ukraine. The LRA is likely to respond by temporarily moving bombers to dispersal airfields,” the Intelligence report said.

UK's intelligence suggested severe sanctions may be imposed on Russian officers deemed responsible for allowing the incident. 

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