Nicolas Tonev with AFP
07:46, December 06, 2022
Ukraine suffered a new deadly salvo from Russian missiles on Monday, causing further power and water cuts in a country already in energy crisis. Russian air bases, far from the border between the two countries, were also the target, according to Moscow, of raids carried out during the day by Ukrainian drones, which killed at least three Russian soldiers.
After suffering another massive bombardment on Monday, Ukraine unexpectedly retaliated. kyiv has attacked, reportedly using drones, two Russian air bases heavily used by the Kremlin Air Force since the start of the offensive, an unexpected new tactic that opens up a new front .
A very strong signal
More than 500 kilometers inside Russian territory, it is on the one hand a signal sent to the population: the war in Ukraine can reach you, far from the front, in the heart of Western Russia. It is also a signal to the Kremlin soldiers: to create uncertainty, ‘we are able to surprise you where you least expect it’.
The Ryazan and especially Engels bases are very important for the Russian Air Force in general by hosting the most efficient strategic bombers such as the Tupolev 160, but especially in the context of the offensive in Ukraine often being the starting bases for the Tupolev 22 and 95.
The Russian Air Force could retreat to more distant bases
These two types of aircraft are widely used to drop the air-to-surface missiles that strike Ukraine. A TU 95, a propeller monster with a wingspan of more than 50 meters, carries up to eight of them at a time. So, with the planes damaged during these strikes, the Russian Air Force could be forced to retreat to more distant bases with the problems that entails: heavy logistical redeployment, planes taking off from further away and therefore spotted more earlier by satellites and the ultimate possibilities for Ukraine to put its anti-missile defenses on alert earlier.
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