Ukraine ‘hits major Russian air base in fresh strike’

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Ukraine is suspected to have struck a major Russian air base in Yeysk after massive explosions, in yet another attack deep behind Moscow’s frontlines.

Russian war channel Rybar admitted a hit on Telegram, claiming it was by a Ukrainian long range Tu-141 Strizh drone.

Ukrainian sources also claimed the strike at the military airfield in Krasnodar region, and a picture appeared to show an explosion. ‘Residents assume that it could even be missiles hitting the airfield,’ said one account.

Russian officials have denied a strike but locals reported two loud explosions.

Then black smoke was seen billowing from the airfield which is a base for strike aircraft used against Ukraine in Vladimir Putin’s war.

Ukraine ‘hits major Russian air base in fresh strike’

Ukraine is suspected to have struck a major Russian air base in Yeysk after massive explosions, in yet another attack deep behind Moscow’s frontlines. Pictured: Flames appear at an airport in Yeysk, in southern Russia on the sea of Azov

Pictured: The Yeysk airfield, southern Russia, is seen in this file photo before it was attacked

Pictured: The Yeysk airfield, southern Russia, is seen in this file photo before it was attacked

One local news group carried a message saying: ‘Something exploded twice, and there was fire. There was an explosion at the airfield,’ stated Rybar channel, admitting a Ukrainian attempt on the Yeysk base.

‘According to preliminary data, a Tu-141 Swift UAV was struck down. There was a strike on the territory of the base but none of the aircraft were hit.

‘However, this attack is unlikely to be the only one. With a high degree of probability, attempts will continue.’

The scale of damage in Yeysk was unclear.

Among the warplanes stationed here are Sukhoi Su-34 bombers.

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Ukraine has this week increased its attacks on Russia.

On Tuesday the airspace around St Petersburg was abruptly closed after a flying object – a suspected long range drone – was reported in the vicinity.

Nothing was found but there were also attacks reported on Belgorod, Tuapse, and the Republic of Adygea.

The Russian authorities failed to agree on the cause of the explosions in Yeysk, which is on the Sea of Azov.

One account said grass was being burned.

Another from local official Roman Bublik said there had been ‘military drills’.

One more report said that nothing had happened.

News of the strikes in Russia came as Vladimir Putin’s forces carried out relentless attacks on the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut on Wednesday in their quest for a breakthrough in the year-long war.

However, one US official predicted few short-term territorial gains for Russia.

Bakhmut had a population of about 70,000 before the war but has been ruined during months of fighting as a focal point of Russian assaults and determined Ukrainian defence.

‘The enemy continues to advance in the direction of Bakhmut. He does not stop storming the city of Bakhmut,’ the Ukrainian military said in a morning briefing.

A Russian takeover of the small mining city would open the way to seizing the last remaining urban centres in the industrial Donetsk province.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in a video address late on Tuesday, said the battle for Bakhmut was ‘most difficult’ but its defence was essential.

‘Russia in general takes no account of people and sends them in constant waves against our positions, the intensity of the fighting is only increasing,’ Zelenskiy said.

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Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said Russian forces had driven a wedge between two villages north of Bakhmut, Berkhivka and Yahidne, in their bid to surround the city.

‘This breakthrough on Bakhmut’s northern flank poses a clear threat to us,’ he said in comments posted on social media.

Although most of the Russian attacks were focused on Bakhmut and other towns and villages in Donetsk, the Ukrainian military said its forces had repelled 85 Russian attacks on different sections of the front line over the past day.

Pictured: A Ukrainian combat drone that crashed near Moscow, close to the the Voskresensk gas compressor station in the Kolomensky district of #Moscow Oblast, in what is the first known attack on Russia's capital since the start of Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine

Pictured: A Ukrainian combat drone that crashed near Moscow, close to the the Voskresensk gas compressor station in the Kolomensky district of #Moscow Oblast, in what is the first known attack on Russia’s capital since the start of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

Reuters news agency said it was not able to verify battlefield reports.

Russia’s state-run RIA news agency released a video clip it said showed Russian Su-25 fighter jets roaring over Bakhmut.

‘We are glad they are ours,’ says a man in the clip identified as a fighter of the mercenary Wagner Group, adding the jets helped them ‘psychologically’.

Ukrainian aircraft launched three strikes on areas of concentration of Russian forces, the Ukrainian military said in a statement on Tuesday night.

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