Two Russian military airfields, at least one of which Moscow uses for airstrikes on Ukraine, were reportedly hit by explosions Monday morning.
According to footage published on Russian and Ukrainian social media, a drone apparently hit the Engels-2 air base in the Saratov region, more than 600 kilometers to the east of Ukraine.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior ministry, said that Russia has used the air base for missile strikes on Ukraine since the start of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February.
“A drone damaged two Tu-95 aircraft [strategic bombers] … Two servicemen were wounded, they were hospitalized,” Gerashchenko added, summarizing media reports Monday.
According to footage from a street camera, an explosion took place at around 6:03 a.m. local time.
Saratov regional governor Roman Busargin said on his social media that “no extraordinary events have taken place in the residential quarters of the city. There is no reason to be worried. No civilian infrastructure has been damaged.”
At the same time, he added that information about events at military facilities “is being checked” by Russian security agencies.
Russian media also reported that another blast hit an airfield outside the city of Ryazan, around 200 kilometers southeast of Moscow. The explosion occurred in the parking area at the airfield, three people were killed and five were injured, Russian state news agency TASS reported.
According to reports from Russian state media, which cited emergency services, people were killed by a fuel tanker explosion at the airfield. Neither Russian officials nor the media provided reasons for the blast.
Ukrainian military command has declined to provide official comment about the incidents.
Ukrainian air force spokesperson Yuriy Ignat reposted on his social media a report about the incidents with an ironic question “Who has done that?”
“Two strategic bombers are being damaged. There are dead and wounded. [We are] grieving,” he wrote sarcastically.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said that “if something is launched into other countries’ airspace, sooner or later unknown flying objects will return to departure point.”
“The Earth is round — discovery made by Galileo. Astronomy was not studied in the Kremlin,” he added.