Ukrainian drone attacks expose Russian air defenses

STORY: A third Russian airfield was on fire on Tuesday (December 6) from a drone strike.

Russian media released footage of what they said was the aftermath of the alleged attack on the Kursk region airfield.

The governor said an oil storage tank there had been set ablaze but there were no casualties.

It comes a day after Ukraine demonstrated an apparent new ability to penetrate hundreds of miles deep into Russian air space with attacks on two Russia air bases.

And on Tuesday prompted Britain's defense ministry to say "If Russia assesses the incidents were deliberate, it will probably consider them as some of the most strategically significant failures of force protection since its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia confirmed it had been hit by what it said were Soviet-era drones at Engels air base.

600km from the nearest Ukrainian territory, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said it was the only base Russia has that is fully equipped for the giant bombers Russia has used in attacks on Ukraine's energy grid.

And in Ryazan, just a few hours drive from Moscow.

Kyiv did not directly claim responsibility for the strikes - it never does with attacks inside Russia - but celebrated them.

The New York Times, citing a senior Ukrainian official, said the drones involved in Monday's attacks were launched from Ukrainian territory, and at least one of the strikes was made with the help of special forces close to the base.

Russian commentators said on social media that if Ukraine could strike that far inside Russia, it might also be able to hit Moscow.

Russia responded to Monday's attacks with missile strikes across Ukraine - destroying homes and knocking out power.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday (December 6) that it can agree with the United States about the need for lasting peace in Ukraine.

But played down the prospect of negotiations until it achieves the goals of its "special military operation".

That as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited troops close to front lines in the eastern Donbas region to mark the country's Armed Forces Day.

"I know that our troops especially in the east are the strongest because it is the most difficult situation in the east. I would like to thank you for your endurance, and might. From the bottom of our heart – and I think it is a duty of every Ukraine – we want to help you because you are an outpost of our independence.”

Zelenskiy also recorded a separate video in which he appeared to be speaking from Sloviansk, near the besieged city of Bakhmut.