Ukraine appears to expose Russian air defence gaps with long-range strikes



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Three killed at Russian base just hours from Moscow

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One of bases hit was home to Russian bomber fleet

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Ukraine minister jokes: Careless Russian smokers to blame

By Pavel Polityuk and Sergiy Chalyi

KYIV/NOVOSOFIIVKA, Ukraine, Dec 6 (Reuters) - A third Russian airfield was set ablaze on Tuesday by a drone strike, a day after Ukraine demonstrated an apparent new ability to penetrate hundreds of kilometres into Russian air space with attacks on two bases.

Officials in the Russian city of Kursk, around 90 km (60 miles) north of the Ukraine border, released pictures of black smoke above an airfield in Tuesday's early hours after the latest strike. The governor said an oil storage tank had gone up in flames, but there were no casualties.

On Monday, Russia said it had been hit hundreds of kilometres from Ukraine by what it said were Soviet-era drones - at Engels air base, home to Russia's strategic bomber fleet, and in Ryazan, a few hours' drive from Moscow.

Ukraine did not directly claim responsibility for the strikes, but nonetheless celebrated them.

In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday, "We are not enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its borders. We are not encouraging Ukraine to strike beyond its borders."

He added that there was no confirmation the strikes were carried out by Ukraine.

Price said the United States has not provided Ukraine with weapons that are to be used within Russia.

"We have been very clear that these are defensive supplies," Price said.

'SMOKING'

Russia's defence ministry said three service members were killed in the attack at Ryazan. Although the attacks struck military targets, it characterised them as terrorism and said the aim was to disable its long-range aircraft.

The New York Times, citing a senior Ukrainian official, said the drones involved in Monday's attacks were launched from Ukrainian territory, and at least one of the strikes was carried out with the help of special forces close to the base.

Ukraine never publicly acknowledges responsibility for attacks inside Russia. Asked about the strikes, Defence Minister Oleskiy Reznikov repeated a longstanding joke blaming carelessness with cigarettes. "Very often Russians smoke in places where it's forbidden to smoke," he said.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych went further, noting that Engels is Russia's only base fully equipped for the fleet of huge bombers Moscow has used to attack Ukraine.

"They will try to disperse (strategic aircraft) to airfields, but all this complicates the operation against Ukraine. Yesterday, thanks to their 'unsuccessful smoking', we achieved a very big result," he said.

The damage to the warplanes also caused grumbling among Russian military bloggers, whose social media posts can provide a window into the mood in Russia on the course of the war, which began more than nine months ago with Russian forces invading Ukraine.

"And I, a naive civilian fool, thought that planes were kept under concrete shelters during war, no?" wrote Vladlen Tatarsky. "It turns out that small drones, the danger from which was so neglected, can attack strategic aircraft."

NEW BARRAGE

The huge Tupolev long-range bombers that Russia stations at Engels form a big part of its strategic nuclear arsenal, similar to the B-52s deployed by the United States during the Cold War. Russia has used them in its campaign since October to destroy Ukraine's energy grid with near weekly waves of missile strikes.

The Engels base, near the city of Saratov, is at least 600 km (372 miles) from the nearest Ukrainian territory.

Russia responded to Monday's attacks with what it called a "massive strike on Ukraine's military control system", though it did not identify any specific military targets for what Ukraine called Moscow's latest strikes on civilian infrastructure.

Moscow claims military justification for attacks on Ukraine's civil infrastructure. Kyiv says the strikes are intended to hurt civilians, a war crime.

Missiles across Ukraine destroyed homes and knocked out power, but the impact seemed less severe than barrages last month that pitched millions of Ukrainians into darkness and cold.

Meanwhile on the battlefields of eastern, northeastern and southern Ukraine, Russian forces kept up their shelling of towns and villages, the Ukrainian military said in its Tuesday evening report.

On Tuesday, Zelenskiy visited troops in the eastern Donbas region that has seen the war's heaviest fighting.

He praised soldiers in a selfie video filmed in front of a sign on the road outside Sloviansk, near the city of Bakhmut that Russian forces have been trying to encircle for weeks. He also presented medals and shook hands with troops in a hangar.

RESISTANCE

Also on Tuesday, the U.S. deputy secretary of state said Russia must remove all its troops from Ukraine.

Wendy Sherman, speaking at an event in Rome, said the United States had sufficient arms stockpiles to keep helping Ukraine, and that Western states backing Kyiv must "stay the course".

No political talks are under way to end the war. Moscow insists it will not negotiate unless Kyiv and the West accept its sovereignty over Ukrainian lands it claims, while Kyiv says Russia must leave all its territory.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday talks would only be possible when Russia achieves the goals of its "special military operation", which he did not define.



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Reporting by Reuters bureaux; Writing by Peter Graff, Angus MacSwan and Grant McCool; Editing by Gareth Jones, Mark Heinrich and Cynthia Osterman

دستبرداری: XM Group کے ادارے ہماری آن لائن تجارت کی سہولت تک صرف عملدرآمد کی خدمت اور رسائی مہیا کرتے ہیں، کسی شخص کو ویب سائٹ پر یا اس کے ذریعے دستیاب کانٹینٹ کو دیکھنے اور/یا استعمال کرنے کی اجازت دیتا ہے، اس پر تبدیل یا توسیع کا ارادہ نہیں ہے ، اور نہ ہی یہ تبدیل ہوتا ہے یا اس پر وسعت کریں۔ اس طرح کی رسائی اور استعمال ہمیشہ مشروط ہوتا ہے: (i) شرائط و ضوابط؛ (ii) خطرہ انتباہات؛ اور (iii) مکمل دستبرداری۔ لہذا اس طرح کے مواد کو عام معلومات سے زیادہ کے طور پر فراہم کیا جاتا ہے۔ خاص طور پر، براہ کرم آگاہ رہیں کہ ہماری آن لائن تجارت کی سہولت کے مندرجات نہ تو کوئی درخواست ہے، اور نہ ہی فنانشل مارکیٹ میں کوئی لین دین داخل کرنے کی پیش کش ہے۔ کسی بھی فنانشل مارکیٹ میں تجارت میں آپ کے سرمائے کے لئے ایک خاص سطح کا خطرہ ہوتا ہے۔

ہماری آن لائن تجارتی سہولت پر شائع ہونے والے تمام مٹیریل کا مقصد صرف تعلیمی/معلوماتی مقاصد کے لئے ہے، اور اس میں شامل نہیں ہے — اور نہ ہی اسے فنانشل، سرمایہ کاری ٹیکس یا تجارتی مشورے اور سفارشات؛ یا ہماری تجارتی قیمتوں کا ریکارڈ؛ یا کسی بھی فنانشل انسٹرومنٹ میں لین دین کی پیشکش؛ یا اسکے لئے مانگ؛ یا غیر متنازعہ مالی تشہیرات پر مشتمل سمجھا جانا چاہئے۔

کوئی تھرڈ پارٹی کانٹینٹ، نیز XM کے ذریعہ تیار کردہ کانٹینٹ، جیسے: راۓ، خبریں، تحقیق، تجزیہ، قیمتیں اور دیگر معلومات یا اس ویب سائٹ پر مشتمل تھرڈ پارٹی کے سائٹس کے لنکس کو "جیسے ہے" کی بنیاد پر فراہم کیا جاتا ہے، عام مارکیٹ کی تفسیر کے طور پر، اور سرمایہ کاری کے مشورے کو تشکیل نہ دیں۔ اس حد تک کہ کسی بھی کانٹینٹ کو سرمایہ کاری کی تحقیقات کے طور پر سمجھا جاتا ہے، آپ کو نوٹ کرنا اور قبول کرنا ہوگا کہ یہ کانٹینٹ سرمایہ کاری کی تحقیق کی آزادی کو فروغ دینے کے لئے ڈیزائن کردہ قانونی تقاضوں کے مطابق نہیں ہے اور تیار نہیں کیا گیا ہے، اسی طرح، اس پر غور کیا جائے گا بطور متعلقہ قوانین اور ضوابط کے تحت مارکیٹنگ مواصلات۔ براہ کرم یقینی بنائیں کہ آپ غیر آزاد سرمایہ کاری سے متعلق ہماری اطلاع کو پڑھ اور سمجھ چکے ہیں۔ مذکورہ بالا معلومات کے بارے میں تحقیق اور رسک وارننگ ، جس تک رسائی یہاں حاصل کی جا سکتی ہے۔

ہم کوکیز کا استعمال آپکو ہماری ویب سائٹ پر بہتریں تجربہ دینے کیلیے کرتے ہیں۔ مزید پڑھیے یا اپنی کوکی سیٹنگ تبدیل کیجیے۔

خطرے کی انتباہ: آپکا سرمایہ خطرے پر ہے۔ ہو سکتا ہے کہ لیورج پروڈکٹ سب کیلیے موزوں نہ ہوں۔ براہ کرم ہمارے مکمل رسک ڈسکلوژر کو پڑھیے۔