At approximately 0000 EST, dual explosions rocked two Russian strategic air bases: Engels in Saratov Oblast and Dyagilevo in Ryazan Oblast, 430 miles apart.
VK users posted this imaged purporting to show the explosion of a fuel truck at Dyagilevo which reportedly killed at least three.
Meanwhile, VK users also published this video purporting to show the explosion at Engels Airbase where three were injured and two Tu-95 bombers were reportedly damaged. Russian social median users also reported that at least twelve bombers departed the airbase after the explosion.
CCTV footage reportedly showing explosion at Engels airbase, Saratov Russia at midnight, EST. pic.twitter.com/C6633idYCh
— Tessaron News (@TessaronF) December 5, 2022
Immediately preceding the explosions, social media users in Russia reported projectiles flying overhead. However, Russian military bloggers are claiming sabotage, like the explosions in Crimea this Summer.
Ukrainian Air Force Command Spokesperson posted on Facebook “congratulations to who did this… Happy volunteers day!”, although the Ukrainian government has not claimed responsibility for the strikes. Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Podolyak also made cryptic comments, implying the explosions were a result of Russian long range aviation attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure.
Russian Presidential Spokesperson Peskov told press that President Putin has been informed about the explosions and that the Russian government has no statement or information regarding the events.
Engels Air Force Base is a strategic bomber military airbase in Russia located 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) east of Saratov. Engels is a major bomber operations base, and is Russia’s sole operating location for the Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber. The base has a 3,500-metre (11,500 ft) runway and about 10 large revetments. The 184th Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment and the 121st Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment are based there.
The Dyagilevo air base is currently home to the 203rd Guards Orlovsky Independent Aircraft-refuelling Aviation Regiment which flies the Ilyushin Il-78/78M. The 49th Instructor Red Banner Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment as part of the 43rd Guards Oryol Center for Combat Employment and Retraining of Long-Range Aviation Flight Personnel is also based there. The base has a 3,000m runway.