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Ukrainian drone shot down deep inside Russia

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Russian military reported Monday it shot down a Ukrainian drone approaching an air base inside Russia, the second time the air base has been targeted this month, raising questions about the effectiveness of Russia’s air defenses if drones can fly that far over the country.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the crash occurred in the early hours of Monday and three servicemen were killed by debris at the Engels airbase home to the Tu-95 and Tu-160 nuclear-capable strategic bombers that were involved. in launching attacks on Ukraine. .

Engels is located in the Saratov region of Russia on the Volga River, more than 600 kilometers (more than 370 miles) east of the Ukrainian border.

No damage was inflicted on the Russian planes, the ministry said.

This is the second time Engels has been targeted by Ukrainian drones; On December 5, unprecedented drone strikes on Engels and the Dyagilevo base in the Ryazan region of western Russia killed a total of three servicemen and injured four others. The attacks on the airbases were followed by a massive retaliatory missile barrage in Ukraine that hit homes and buildings and killed civilians.

In Ukraine, the night between Sunday and Monday was unusually quiet. For the first time in weeks, Russian forces have not shelled the Dnipropetrovsk region, which borders the partially occupied southern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, its governor Valentyn Reznichenko said on Telegram.

“This is the third quiet night in 5.5 months since the Russians started shelling” areas around the city of Nikopol, Reznichenko wrote. Nikopol is across the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which is under the control of Russian forces.

Ukrainian-controlled areas of nearby Kherson region have been bombed 33 times in the past 24 hours, according to Ukrainian governor of Kherson Yaroslav Yanushevich. There were no casualties.

On Saturday, a deadly attack on the city of Kherson, which was recaptured by Kiev forces last month, left dozens dead and wounded.

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