Russian bloggers angry at ‘army’s inability’ to stop airbase strikes: ISW

A woman is pictured walking past a building with windows displaying a Russian flag and a poster with a ‘Z’ symbol to indicate support for the Russian military, in Kronstadt, Russia March 22, 2022. A report by the Institute for the Study of War on Monday revealed that Russian military bloggers were unhappy with the Russian military’s “inability” to stop Ukrainian drone strikes on airbases in Russia.
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Russian military bloggers are expressing ‘anger’ at their country’s ‘failure’ to stop Ukrainian drones from hitting air bases inside Russia, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). ).

Ukrainian drones reportedly damaged bases in the Russian regions of Saratov and Ryazan on Monday, killing at least three soldiers and injuring four, as well as two Russian planes capable of carrying nuclear bombs. The Russian Defense Ministry said the drones were successfully shot down before directly hitting bases, blaming falling “fragments” for the casualties and destruction.

An ISW ​​report released late Monday says the ‘anger’ of Russian military bloggers over the drone strikes – which hit Engels-2 airbase in Saratov and Dyagilevo in Ryazan – outweighed any ‘praise’ for the barrage military of about 70 missiles launched towards Ukrainian targets on the same day.

Some of the bloggers suggested that the long-range drone attacks may have been beyond Ukraine’s capabilities, speculating that Ukrainian saboteurs or military reconnaissance groups may have launched the attacks from inside Russia instead. . They also warned that Moscow could be under threat of attack if the drone strikes were launched from Ukraine.

“Russian [military bloggers] Milbloggers criticized Russian officials for failing to anticipate and prevent drone strikes,” the ISW report said. “Milbloggers noted that Russian military officials failed to sufficiently protect air bases, with some suggesting that Russian officials failed to adequately defend the bases despite knowing they were clear targets for Ukrainian strikes. »

“Several prominent Russian milbloggers claimed that Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups must have launched the attack on the Engels-2 air base from inside Russian territory,” he continued. “Or – if the [unmanned aerial vehicles] Drones were launched from Ukrainian territory – that Moscow is threatened from Ukrainian territory.”

The report goes on to say that the bloggers “called on Russian military officials to allow major retaliatory strikes against Ukraine and to intensify counter-terrorism measures on Russian territory,” while claiming that the strikes on both bases ” would probably have been prevented”. the military heeded their warnings.

A blogger posted to the Telegram channel @milinfolive on Monday blasted the Russian military for incompetence and lack of proper fortifications at bases, while describing military leaders as “sheep” who “continue to demonstrate their utter inadequacy”.

Russia launched around 70 missiles at Ukrainian targets just hours after the bases were hit. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said “most” of the missiles were destroyed before they reached their targets, while conceding “several hits” killed at least four people.

“70 Russian missiles were launched, most of them shot down,” Zelensky said in his televised address Monday night. “Every Russian missile shot down is concrete proof that terror can be defeated.”

Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for drone attacks inside Russia. However, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat appeared to celebrate the explosion at Engels-2, asking on Facebook: “And who did it?”

Zelensky’s adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, also tweeted that Russia should expect “if something is launched in the airspace of other countries, sooner or later unknown flying objects will return to the starting point”.

Newsweek contacted the Russian Defense Ministry for comment.


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