Moscow has accused Ukraine of a deadly attack on an airbase

Moscow said Monday it thwarted a new Ukrainian drone attack on a strategic bomber military base hundreds of kilometers from their shared border as Kyiv called for the United Nations to overthrow Russia.

Russia said it shot down the drone at Engels, a base for the country’s strategic planes, which Kyiv said were used to attack Ukraine. Three soldiers were killed by falling debris, regional authorities said.

On the same day, Russian intelligence said it had killed four Ukrainian “saboteurs” who were allegedly trying to enter Russia through a border region.

Moscow has accused pro-Kyiv forces of attacking Russian military installations and civilian infrastructure, including blowing up a bridge connecting annexed Crimea to Russia.

Second Strike

Russia’s Defense Ministry said Monday it shot down a Ukrainian drone at its Engels airfield in the southern Saratov region, more than 600 kilometers (370 miles) from the border with Ukraine.

It was the second attack on Engels airfield in less than a month and the deepest attack on Russian territory since President Vladimir Putin dispatched troops to Ukraine on February 24.

In early December, the Russian Defense Ministry said Ukrainian drone strikes caused explosions at two airfields, including Engels, and claimed three lives. The ministry announced at the time that the airfields had been attacked with Soviet drones.

Separately, the Russian security service FSB claimed that it had killed a group of armed saboteurs from Ukraine who were trying to enter the Bryansk region with “improvised explosive devices”.

A video released by the FSB showed several bloodied bodies spread out on the ground, in winter camouflage and with weapons.

Initially, there was no comment from Kyiv.

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The attacks come 10 months after Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine, where Russian forces attacked the country’s energy grid, leaving millions in the cold and dark of the dead of winter.

Ukraine on Monday called for the expulsion of Russia – a permanent member of the UN Security Council – from the world body.

“Ukraine calls on UN member states to strip the Russian Federation of its status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and expel it from the UN as a whole,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

– “Unite the Russian people” –

“We have a very simple question: Does Russia have the right to remain a permanent member of the UN Security Council and to be in the United Nations at all?” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Sunday.

“We have a convincing and reasoned answer – no, it doesn’t.”

The five permanent members of the 15-seat Security Council have veto power that can block any resolution.

Despite mounting human and material losses and growing international isolation, Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown no willingness to change tactics.

On Sunday, Putin said his attack on Ukraine was aimed at “uniting the Russian people” and accused his country’s geopolitical opponents of “intending to tear apart Russia, historical Russia.”

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The Kremlin chief has repeated the concept of “historical Russia” to argue that Ukrainians and Russians are one people.

“Divide and rule, that’s what they’ve always striven for and still try to do,” Putin said in a television interview facing the West.

“But our goal is different: it is the unification of the Russian people.”

He said Moscow was willing to negotiate and expressed unimpressed when asked about a new air defense system that the United States would supply to Ukraine.

“Of course we will 100 percent destroy it!” said Putin, referring to the Patriot missile battery promised to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Zelensky last week received firm pledges of support from Washington — including the Pentagon’s most advanced air defense system — during his first trip from Ukraine since the conflict began.

Western military and financial aid was critical in pulling Russian troops through Ukraine — including from the southern city of Kherson, the only Russian-held regional capital.

Despite Russia’s withdrawal from the city, it remains within reach of Moscow’s guns and under constant threat.

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