Military correspondent on why Russia proceeded with attack despite losing three aircraft

7 December 2022, 06:27 PM
Russian Engels Air Base in Saratov, December 3 (Photo:Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS)

Russian Engels Air Base in Saratov, December 3 (Photo:Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS)

Russia did not call off the attack on Ukraine after the explosions at Engels-2 and Dyagilevo airbases due to the effort it had already made in preparation for the strikes, editor-in-chief of Censor.NET outlet Yuriy Butusov told Radio NV on Dec. 7.

He stressed that the use of cruise missiles, "especially in Russia", is a complex process.

Butusov noted that this process is more complicated than for the U.S. HIMARS rocket systems, because Russia does not have such an extensive navigation system, the kind of group of satellites that the United States has.

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"We know (this from) the Bellingcat investigation, which revealed a group of Russian specialists in Moscow who program the missile control system for strikes on Ukraine," the journalist noted.

He also suggested that after being struck, the Russians assessed their losses and "after that they decided to strike themselves, thinking that despite the loss of three missile carriers (they were neutralized), the planes would still carry out this operation, which has already been programmed and calculated, in due time."

Butusov added that as a result of this strike, the enemy managed to inflict damage, but it could have been much greater if the Russians had used all the forces prepared for the strike.

On the morning of Dec. 5, an unknown aircraft crashed on the runway of Engels-2 airfield in Russia's Saratov Oblast.

Moreover, at the airfield Dyagilevo near Ryazan, a gas tanker caught fire, resulting in an explosion.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that three Russian servicemen were killed and four others were injured in the incidents at the airfields.

On Dec. 1, Germany's Der Spiegel reported that active measures were being taken at the Russian airfield Engels-2 in Saratov Oblast, and it was put on high alert.

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