Russia on Monday accused Ukraine of launching attacks on its territory, especially with a drone that targeted an air base on Russian territory hundreds of kilometers from the front, in the second such operation this month.
For its part, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) announced on Monday that it had killed a group of saboteurs who tried to cross from Ukraine to the Russian border region of Bryansk.
The Ukrainian authorities, as usual, didn’t comment on these two incidents.
According to Russian news agencies, a Ukrainian drone was shot down when it was approaching the Engels base in the Saratov region at night, about 600 km from Ukraine.
As a result of the drone’s wreckage falling, three Russian technicians who were on the grounds of the airport were killed, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense statement.
The regional governor, Roman Busargin, confirmed on his Telegram account that three soldiers had been killed.
On December 6, Ukrainian drones targeted the Engels base, which is home to Russian strategic bombers, according to Moscow, demonstrating the ability of some Ukrainian planes to deceive Russian anti-aircraft defenses.
On Monday, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) announced that it had killed a group of saboteurs from Ukraine who tried to cross into a Russian border region.
“As a result of a clash that took place on December 25, 2022, four terrorists who tried to enter the territory of the Bryansk region from Ukraine were killed,” the agency responsible for internal security said in a statement reported by Russian news agencies.
The statement added that foreign weapons and explosives were in their possession.
A video recording, broadcast by the Russian RIA-Novosti news agency and attributed to the FSB, showed bodies lying on the ground of people in winter camouflage clothes and carrying firearms.
In recent months, Russia has accused Kyiv of carrying out several sabotage attacks on important military sites and infrastructure.
The truck bomb attack that partially destroyed the Crimean bridge linking the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014 to Russian territory marked a setback for the Kremlin in early October in a series of setbacks for Moscow on the battlefield.
Kyiv has never confirmed its involvement in the explosion that targeted the bridge, but this incident prompted Vladimir Putin to intensify strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure.
In this context, Ukraine called Monday for the exclusion of Russia from the United Nations.
“Ukraine calls on the member states of the United Nations to deprive the Russian Federation of its status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and to completely exclude it from the United Nations,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin sought once again to justify his military attack on Ukraine, accusing the West of seeking to divide Russia, and stressing in an interview with state television that the attack on Ukraine aims to unite the Russian people.
“Everything is based on the policy of our geopolitical opponents, who aim to divide Russia, historical Russia,” Putin said.
“Divide and rule: always tried to do it, they are trying to do it now, but our goal is completely different: to unite the Russian people,” Putin added.
Putin said that the Russian army was moving in the right direction despite a disastrous autumn for Moscow, which witnessed Ukrainian counterattacks in the north, east and south of the territories occupied by Russian forces.
The Ukrainians surprised Russia with their fierce resistance, and their forces have been able to achieve military successes since September thanks to increased military and financial aid from the West.
For Moscow, this is evidence that the Europeans and Americans are fighting a proxy war against Russia.
Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky left his country for the first time since the conflict began, heading to Washington, where his US counterpart, Joe Biden, promised him the Patriot defense system and $45 billion in new financial aid.