On Monday, drones struck two air bases in western Russia. The attacks continued on Tuesday, with missiles hitting a Russian airport and an industrial plant. The strikes appear to have come from Ukraine. Russian officials certainly believe so. In response, they renewed their bombardment of the embattled nation.
Russia seemed impossibly strong when it first invaded Ukraine. But nine months into the conflict, Ukraine has not fallen. This week’s drone strikes reveal Russia’s vulnerability.
Monday’s attacks hit the Engels air base in the Saratov region and the Dyagilevo base in the Ryazan region. The Engels base houses bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Russia’s Defense Ministry claims Ukraine intended to hamper Russia’s bomber force. It says the strikes damaged two airplanes and killed three servicemen.
Ukraine hasn’t claimed responsibility for the attacks. But Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak trolled Russia on Twitter.
“If something is launched into other countries’ airspace, sooner or later unknown flying objects will return to departure point,” he tweeted.
For two months, Russia has bombarded Ukraine almost weekly. The barrage plunged much of Ukraine into darkness. The strikes are retaliation for an October 8 attack. A truck bomb destroyed a critical Russian bridge to Crimea.
The bridge bombing embarrassed Russia. This week’s drone attacks add fresh embarrassment. Many Russians expected the conflict to be over by now. They thought Russia would win easily. But these drone strikes expose weakness in Russia’s defenses.
Now Russia has renewed its bombardment of Ukraine. Ukraine’s air force claims to have shot down over 60 Russian missiles this week.
“Every downed Russian missile is concrete proof that terror can be defeated,” says Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Even so, Russian missiles struck Ukrainian homes. They killed civilians.
War comes at a high cost—for all sides involved. Good leaders consider those costs before acting.
The Bible tells us God gives rulers the authority to avenge wrongdoing. (Romans 13:3-4) Pray for leaders around the world to take seriously their charge to protect their people with wisdom.
Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. — Isaiah 1:17
(Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stands with service members during a moment of silence to honor lost soldiers. Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)