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Drones attack Russia’s tactical bomber base in Rostov Oblast (updated)

Russia’s MoD claims to have repelled a massive UAV attack from Ukraine, allegedly intercepting and destroying 33 suicide drones. Local sources say one of the attack’s main targets was a bomber air base near Rostov’s Morozovsk.
Explosion in Morozovsk, Russia, during an alleged drone attack in the early hours of 17 December 2023. Screenshot: Telegram/Astra

On the morning of 17 December, Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed Russia’s air defenses repelled a massive “Kyiv regime’s” fixed-wing drone attack on the Russian territory, spanning three regions in western and southern Russia:

“Air defense assets on duty destroyed and intercepted 33 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles over the territories of the Lipetsk, Rostov and Volgograd Oblast,” Russia’s MoD said, later adding that two of those were allegedly downed in the skies of Volgograd Oblast, which is at least 300 km away from the war zone.

Russian Telegram channel Astra shared videos of an alleged air attack on Morozovsk in Russia’s Rostov Oblast. The local military airfield is home to the Russian Airspace Forces’ 559th Guards Bomber Regiment (military unit #75392), where Su-24, Su-24M, and Su-34 tactical-level bombers are deployed.

Rostov Oblast governor Vasily Golubev claimed that “most of the UAVs were destroyed, no one was injured” during a fixed-wing drone attack near Morozovsk and Kamensk.

Ukrainian officials did not comment on the attack so far. The possible damage remains unknown at the moment of the publication of this report.

The previous reported Ukrainian drone attack on Russian facilities occurred late on 15 December, as one-way attack UAVs targeted multiple facilities in occupied Crimea and adjacent areas of Kherson Oblast.

The occasional Ukrainian drone attacks are taking place in the background of Russia’s daily Shahed drone attacks on Ukraine.

Earlier, the Ukrainian company Terminal Autonomy announced the successful completion of procurement efforts designed to support the combat deployment of their AQ 400 Scythe suicide drones with a range of 750 km. The company said it produces 100 Scythes monthly and targets 500 units a month.

Update:

The Russian sources published a photo of a Su-24 allegedly at the Morozovsk air base showing signs of minor shrapnel damage.

Additionally, the photos show the wreckage of one of the Ukrainian drones that have attacked the base. The wreckage does not look similar to Ukraine’s known long-range suicide drones, “Beaver” and “Scythe“:

Wreckage of an alleged Ukrainian one-way attack drone that targeted Russia’s Morozovsk bomber airbase on 17 December 2023. Photo via X/loogunda.

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