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Major fire and smoke reported in Russia after drone attack

Video appears to shown Russian airbase hit 400km from Moscow

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A drone attack has hit Russia’s Kursk region, which borders Ukraine, and set fire to an oil storage tank in an airfield. The incident was reported on region Governor Roman Starovoyton’s Telegram channel.

Mr Starovoyton said: “There were no casualties. The fire is localised. All emergency services working at the site.”

It’s being reported that as of 6am GMT on December 6, the fire continues to burn and it is currently unknown how severe the fire is or if there have been any casualties.

Aric Toler, a researcher at Bellingcat, which is an investigative news organisation, posted a video on Twitter from Kursak showing lots of black smoke rising from the area.

Last week, Mr Starovoyton said that Ukrainian forces had caused some electricity outages in the area by striking a power plant, although Ukraine has not taken credit for the incident.

On Monday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said that Ukraine’s drones killed three and wounded four servicemen in south-central Russia.

The attacks took place at the Engels-2 and Dyagilevo airbases in Saratov and Ryazan, which caused two aircrafts to be damaged.

Ukraine has not said if they are responsible for the attack, but the attack would be the furthest away attack from the Ukrainian border against key military bases since the war began in February.

Gleb Irisov, a former Russian air force lieutenant who left the military in 2020, said: “If indeed Ukraine managed to hit the base, it shows the country is making a lot of progress in their ability to reach bases far away from the battlefield.”

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has said at least four people have been killed by Russian strikes on Ukraine.

In his evening updates on the war on Monday, he said that 70 missiles were launched by Russia but “most of them were shot down”.

The Ukrainian President has also said that Ukraine has switched to emergency shutdowns to stabilise the power grid, and that half of the Kyiv region will be without electricity for the next few days.

He said: “The biggest number of shutdowns is in Vinnytsia, Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa, Khmelnytskyi and Cherkasy regions.”

However, President Zelensky has promised that authorities “will do everything to restore stability”.

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It comes at a time Ukraine is seeing snow and sub-zero temperatures this winter, and millions of Ukrainians are without electricity or running water.

The strikes this week are Russia’s eighth massive missile launch against Ukraine in eight weeks and have been targeting Ukraine’s power grid since October 10.

Some international leaders have described the missile attacks as a war crime, due to the large amounts of damage to civilian infrastructure.

Marina Miron, a defence researcher at King’s College London, has said the attacks are being carried out to damage the morale of Ukrainian civilians.

She said: “Russia thinks that if people are freezing and desperate, they may revolt against their government.”

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