Clandestine operators flying drones from a secret Russian launch site were responsible for a recent punishing attack on one of the Kremlin's military air bases, Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukrainian army military intelligence, told a US-based defense publication.

Two Russian air force Il-76 four-engine military cargo jets (NATO designation CANDID) were totally destroyed, two more were very likely damaged beyond repair, and as many as three more were hit by explosions and debris and possibly grounded following a strike on the Kresty airfield near the northwestern Russian city of Pskov, the American publication The War Zone (TWZ) reported on Thursday.

Kresty Air Base is about 700 miles northwest of the Ukrainian border, near the NATO member state Estonia. According to local reports and official Russian statements, between 15 and 20 drones were used in the attack.

 Budanov declined to say the number or type of drones used or whether Ukrainian uniformed service personnel or secret agents carried out the Pskov raid. He made clear that the operation was carried out from inside Russia, saying in part “We are working from the territory of Russia.”

 Budanov’s comments seemingly contradicted a statement by his boss, President Volodymyr Zelensky, published the same day on Telegram announcing that recent Ukrainian long-range attacks were carried out by home-grown weapons launched from Ukrainian territory. 

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 Kyiv has long-range strike weapons capable of flying 700 kilometers and hitting precise targets in Russia, the Ukrainian leader said.

A possible resolution to the contradiction between Budanov’s and Zelensky’s remarks would be a long-range weapon, possibly a drone, launched from Ukrainian territory, and flown to targets by controllers operating secretly closer to the Russian airfield. Kyiv Post was unable to confirm the hypothesis.

Russian military information channels followed by some state-controlled media on Thursday claimed the most likely origin of the Pskov airfield attack was from NATO member state Estonia, without giving evidence.

Since Russia’s Feb. 2022 invasion, Kyiv has steadfastly maintained any and all counterattacks hitting Russian Federation territory, are carried out only with Ukrainian weapons.

A single Ukrainian drone was – according to widespread news and official reports – circling in air space around Kresty airfield on Friday morning, triggering air raid alerts and a heightened security posture in air defense units. The reports did not say where the drone came from. As of midday Kyiv time, the drone was still in the air, reports said.

The Kremlin was badly embarrassed by the Aug. 29 strike penetrating deep into Russian air space.

 Satellite images TWZ said were recorded following the Ukrainian attack showed the two IL-76 hulks burned to the tarmac and two more with extensive fuselage damage blackened by fire at the base of both planes’ wings.

 Ukrainian drone operators intentionally targeted the Candids’ fuel tanks and the main structural element of the wings, Budanov said. The TWZ report also published infrared images it said showed the moment of an Il-76 being hit by a drone.

 The probable screenshots published by the US military information platform dovetailed with video from Russian social media in the immediate wake of the strike showing an Il-76, reportedly at Kresty airfield, burning furiously following an air attack.

According to open sources, Kresty airbase is home to Russia’s 334th Military Transport Aviation Regiment, a logistics unit with the primary mission of moving Kremlin military cargo and air-transportable combat units across Russia’s 13 time zones and abroad. Reportedly, there are a total of about 100 operational Il-76s in the Russian Air Force.

 In an interview published by the UNIAN news agency on Friday, Budanov said Ukraine’s national war strategy intends more frequent and intensive strikes on Russian territory, with the objective of increasing political pressure on the Kremlin to abandon its campaign to eliminate the Ukrainian state and destroy the Ukrainian military.

 “It’s a splendid idea…War should be taken to the enemy’s territory, and for us, that’s Russia. The more the better,” Budanov said.

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Comments (2)
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Seems like the drone strike was launched from one of the Baltic countries. That starts WW III, which may be what NATO wants. Not smart.
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“I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight!”

September 23, 1779 — John Paul Jones, the war hero known as the father of the US Navy, achieved a dramatic victory against the British on this day. Commanding the 42-gun USS Bonhomme Richard in the North Sea, Jones took on the superior 44-gun British frigate HMS Serapis. The two vessels exchanged gunfire for about three hours, but realizing that he could not win a battle of big guns Jones decided to lash his ship and Serapis together.

His attempts left the Bonhomme Richard burning and sinking, causing the British to call out asking if he was ready to surrender. Jones reportedly and famously replied: “I have not yet begun to fight!”

Serapis was soon badly damaged when a grenade caused a gunpowder explosion and it was the British who were forced to surrender. Jones’s against-the-odds victory over the powerful British Navy ship turned him into a national hero in the United States.

“I have not yet begun to fight!” must be what President Zelensky has been thinking since the USA and NATO allies have tied one hand behind his back by withholding and slow-walking every heavy weapon he's requested since the war began.

And they've kept his hand tied behind his back by insisting that the entire war must be fought within Ukraine's border.

Slava Ukraini!

I deserve to die. Jesus deserves to live.
Jesus Turned Around