Earlier today, an allegedly Ukrainian drone struck a Russian oil depot located on a military base about 93 miles or 150 kilometers inside of Russia. The Dec. 6 strike, which led to a massive blast caught on tape, comes the day after two Russian military bases, in Ryazan and Saratov, were struck by drones.

According to Russian sources, the earlier two strikes on Monday, Dec. 5, led to the deaths of three Russian soldiers at the bases used for hosting Russian strategic bombers. Russian authorities indicated that the attacks had been executed by Soviet-vintage drones, known to  have far less technical capacity in comparison to modern Western drones that have become a staple of this war.

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Similar to the attack on the 11-mile Kerch Bridge that connects Crimea to Russia, Kyiv did not take credit for this strike inside Russia but did openly celebrate its success.

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Strikes into Russian territory have remained a contentious point in Kyiv’s relations with its American partners who fear that such attacks could lead to an escalation of the war which has been waged for nearly ten months.

Ukrainian leaders have stated that not allowing strikes within Russia is de facto tying Kyiv’s hands and making the prevention of future missile attacks by Moscow impossible. The attacks carried out on Tuesday using Soviet Stizh drones introduced in the 1970s, rather than Western technologies, will be a bell-weather for how the U.S. responds to such operations.

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The Mriya's commander, Dmitry Antonov, told the Kyiv Post that the plane could have been saved, but that the crew “really wanted to help those who wanted to take Kyiv in three days.”

The governor of the Kursk Region, Roman Starovoyt, stated via a Telegram post that the explosion was only in the vicinity of the military base, having neither spread nor killed any Russians present.

 

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