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Moscow Says Downed 4 Drones Near Air Base in Southern Russia

The Engels-2 air base in the southern Saratov region. Russian Defense Ministry

Russian air defense systems on Wednesday downed four drones near an airbase in southern Russia where some of Moscow’s strategic bombers are stationed, regional authorities said.

“Drones were eliminated over [the city of] Engels less than an hour ago. The air defense system worked in a timely and effective manner,” Saratov region Governor Roman Busargin said on the messaging app Telegram.

Engels, located over 700 kilometers southeast of Moscow, is home to the Engels-2 air base, which houses Tu-95 and Tu-160 nuclear-capable strategic bombers.

“There were no injuries or damage to infrastructure caused by falling debris,” Busargin said.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said its air defense systems had shot down four drones over the Saratov region overnight.

The online news outlet Astra, citing unidentified sources, reported that three of the four downed drones fell on the territory of the Engels air base.

The outlet said there were no casualties, but the extent of the damage was not yet known.

Eyewitnesses and security camera footage showed two loud explosions before 6:00 a.m. local time, according to the local news website FreeNews-Volga.

This is at least the fourth drone attack on the Saratov region since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

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