- Russia said that it shot down a Ukrainian drone near Engels airbase in Russia’s Saratov region.
- Falling debris from the downed drone killed three Russian military personnel, authorities said.
- Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the drone’s presence in the region.
Three military personnel in Russia were killed by debris falling from a downed Ukrainian drone on Monday, the Russian Defence Ministry said.
The drone, which was shot down near the Engels military airbase in Russia’s Saratov region, hit and fatally wounded the staff members, a statement from the Defence Ministry, published by Russian news agencies, said.
The Engels airbase is known to house Russian strategic bombers which have been used to strike targets in Ukraine with missiles throughout the war.
“On December 26, at about 01:35 Moscow time, a Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down at low altitude while approaching the Engels military airfield in the Saratov region,” the Russian Defence Ministry said, per TASS.
“As a result of the fall of the wreckage of the drone, three Russian servicemen of the technical staff who were at the airfield were fatally wounded,” the ministry said, adding that aviation equipment was not damaged.
Saratov governor Roman Busargin said on his Telegram channel that law enforcement agencies are investigating the incident and told local residents that there was no threat to them.
Although Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the drone, Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat told national television Monday that incidents like this are the “consequences of Russian aggression,” ABC News reported.
“If the Russians thought that the war would not affect them in the deep rear, they were deeply mistaken,” he said, according to the outlet.
Ukraine has also not taken responsibility for other recent drone attacks on Russian airbases.
On December 5, drone strikes hit Engels and the Dyagilevo air base, which if confirmed to be by Ukraine would have marked it’s deepest attack in Russian territory so far in the war.