- Kyiv region faces one of the most urgent blackouts
- US to seek leadership help on Ukrainian energy assets
- Moscow: Ukrainian drones attack air bases in Russia, 3 dead
KYIV, Dec 6 (Reuters) – A drone attack on an airfield in Russia’s Kursk region set fire to an oil storage tank, a governor said on Tuesday, a day after Russia accused Ukraine daring drone attacks on two military airfields deep inside Russian territory. .
Roman Starovoyt, the governor of the Kursk region bordering Ukraine, said on the Telegram messaging app that there were no casualties from the attack and the fire was “localized “. Reuters was unable to immediately verify the information.
The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier that Ukrainian drones attacked two airbases in Ryazan and Saratov in south-central Russia on Monday, killing three servicemen, injuring four and damaging two planes.
Ukraine has not directly claimed any of the attacks. If it was behind them, Monday’s strikes would be the deepest in Russia since Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24.
The New York Times, citing a senior Ukrainian official, said the drones involved in Monday’s attacks were launched from Ukrainian territory and that at least one of the strikes was carried out with the help of special forces close to the base.
Israeli satellite imaging company ImageSat International shared images it said showed burn marks and objects near a Tu-22M aircraft at Dyagilevo air base.
The Russian Defense Ministry said Monday’s attacks were acts of terrorism intended to disable long-range aircraft, and that low-flying drones were shot down. The deaths were reported at the Ryazan base, 185 km (115 miles) southeast of Moscow.
Saratov is at least 600 km (370 miles) from the nearest Ukrainian territory. Russian commentators have said on social media that if Ukraine could strike this far inside Russia, it might also be able to strike Moscow.
Ukrainian military analyst Serhiy Zgurets said the air force bases hit on Monday were the only facilities in Russia that could fully service the bombers used to launch attacks on Ukraine.
“It is still too early to say what it is about here, but the ability of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to hit military targets deep within the territory of the Russian Federation has a very symbolic and important meaning,” he said. -he writes on the Espreso channel. website.
There was no immediate comment from Kyiv or Moscow on the latest report of a drone attack in Kursk.
Russia responded to Monday’s attacks with a “massive attack on the military control system” and other targets using high-precision air and sea weapons in which all 17 targets were hit, the Russian Ministry of Security said. Defense.
Ukraine has warned there will again be emergency power cuts in several areas as it repairs damage from missile attacks it says destroyed homes and cut power.
The strikes, which plunged parts of Ukraine back into freezing darkness with sub-zero Celsius (32 Fahrenheit) temperatures, were the latest weeks of attacks hitting critical infrastructure.
At least four people were killed, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, adding that most of the roughly 70 missiles had been shot down.
“In many areas there will have to be emergency power outages,” he said in a video address Monday evening. “We will do everything to restore stability.”
Russia has been attacking Ukraine’s energy infrastructure regularly since early October in what it says is an attempt to degrade its military. Ukraine says such attacks target civilians and constitute war crimes. Russia denies it.
The United States said it would convene a virtual meeting with oil and gas leaders on Thursday to discuss how it can support Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, according to a letter seen by Reuters.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russia would fail in its “present gamble of trying, in effect, to get the Ukrainian people to give up.”
“The fact is that unless and until Russia demonstrates that it is interested in meaningful diplomacy, it cannot go anywhere. If and when it does, we will be the first to be ready to help. “, he told the Wall. Council of CEOs of the Street Journal in Washington.
Russia says it is carrying out a “special military operation” in Ukraine to rid it of nationalists and protect Russian-speaking communities. Ukraine and its allies accuse Russia of an unprovoked war to seize territory.
FIGHT IN DONETSK
Ukraine’s military said on Tuesday that its forces had repelled Russian attacks in or around seven settlements in the Donetsk region, including the town of Bakhmut, in the past 24 hours.
Russian soldiers were trying to cut off roads to Bakhmut from the west and northwest, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said on YouTube.
Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told Ukrainian television on Monday that there were only about 12,000 people left in Bakhmut, down from 80,000 before the war, and there was no electricity or gas.
In the Zaporizhzhia region of southern Ukraine, at least two people were killed and several houses destroyed by Russian missile fire on Monday, a presidential office official said.
A Reuters video showed two bodies next to a damaged car in the village of Novosofiivka, about 25 km (16 miles) east of the city of Zaporizhzhia.
“My two neighbors were killed,” said 62-year-old Olha Troshyna. “They were standing by the car…accompanying their son and daughter-in-law.”
Ukraine’s air force said it shot down more than 60 of more than 70 missiles fired by Russia on Monday.
Reports from Reuters offices; Written by Stephen Coates; edited by Raju Gopalakrishnan
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