"On Dec. 26 at around 01:35 Moscow time, air defense equipment of the Russian Aerospace Forces shot down a Ukrainian drone at low altitude when it was approaching the Engels military airfield in Saratov," Russia's Defense Ministry said.
Three servicemen from the technical staff of the airfield, which is one of the Russian strategic bases, died as a result of the falling fragments of the drone. The planes, however, were not damaged.
Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat confirmed the attack on the Engels airfield and justified it as a consequence of Russian special military operation against his country.
“Today in Ukraine, Russia is fighting against the collective forces of the West. Russia was not the source of the conflict in Ukraine; the reason was the Western-sponsored coup in Kiev in 2014. We are taking action to save the population from genocide and terrorism.” — Shoigu pic.twitter.com/bKpGB3chwN
"These are the consequences of what Russia is doing in our country. If the Russians thought that the war would not affect them in their rear, they were wrong. This type of thing is happening more and more frequently and we hope that this is positive for Ukraine," he said.
On December 5, the Russian command reported that they had intercepted several Ukrainian drones targeting the "Engels" and "Diaghilevo" airfields, the latter in the Russian region of Ryazan, near Moscow.
On that occasion, due to the falling fragments of the drones, three soldiers died, four soldiers were injured, and two planes suffered minor damage to their fuselage.
President Vladimir Putin assures that Russia will find an "antidote" to the U.S. "Patriot" missiles in Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/fTD6BuYkWg