The Ukrainian Main Directorate of Intelligence (HUR) claims a sabotage attack was carried out on a key Russian airbase just miles from Moscow. The HUR has not provided evidence any Russian planes were damaged or that the covert operation happened.
Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, posted details about the alleged covert bombing on Twitter. “Unidentified saboteurs blew up two airplanes and a helicopter in Moscow region on 18th September – Ukrainian Defense Intelligence. The sabotage reportedly took place at the Chkalovsky Air Base, where government planes, “doomsday” planes and reconnaissance aircraft are based,” he wrote. “Unidentified persons placed explosives on a closely guarded airfield and blew up AN-148 and IL-20 aircraft (both belonging to the 354th Special Operations Aviation Regiment), as well as a MI-28N helicopter, which had previously been actively engaged in shooting down attack drones.”
Ukrainska Pravda reported the HUR believes the damage to Russian aircraft will take time to repair. “The damage caused to the planes makes their rapid restoration improbable. A tail part of the helicopter was damaged by the explosion. Another AN-148 parked close to other ones was slightly damaged,” the HUR said.
Ukrainian officials and intelligence provided satellite photographs that show Chkalovsky Air Base and the aircraft, but the satellite photos allegedly proving that the bombing took place are blurry and do not confirm the HUR assertions.
The HUR claims the incident caused “major hysteria in the top [of Russia’s] military command,” and Moscow’s intelligence agencies are investigating. Russia has not issued any statement on the Ukrainian allegations.
As Ukraine has struggled to regain its territory, Kiev has started to carry out attacks inside Russia. Kiev has fired several drones at Moscow, although Ukrainian officials did not admit to playing a role in this latest sabotage attack.