War in Ukraine, directed today 26 December: Kiev drones attack the Russian base of nuclear Tu

Russia sets up minefields to defend the occupied areas, but then does not defend them

Russian troops in Ukraine have been laying anti-tank and anti-personnel mines since October to defend the positions they conquered in eastern and southern Ukraine, according to the London Defense Ministry, citing the latest intelligence bulletin of British intelligence. The minefields – reads the report, reported by the Guardian – “constitute an obstacle for trained troops only when they are defended by fire and vigilance, which at the moment seem to be lacking in the Russian forces stationed in the Ukrainian theater. The laying of mines in this case, therefore, according to the British 007, would not comply with the rules of war dictated by the Russian manuals».

Putin promises a Christmas truce, instead his army launches at least 40 rockets

The Russians bombarded with artillery and carried out at least 40 rocket attacks against the territory of Ukraine on Christmas Day alone, according to a statement from the military headquarters in Kiev this morning, quoted by the Guardian. Dozens of localities in the regions of Lugansk and Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia were affected by the bombing. In Kherson Oblast, settlements on the right bank of the Dnipro River were especially targeted. And this, writes the Ukrainian military command, despite the offer of Christmas peace made by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

More than 102,000 Russian soldiers have died to date

The toll of Russian soldiers who have died since the start of the invasion of Ukraine has risen by another 550 in the past 24 hours, to 102,600. This was reported by the daily balance drawn up by the armed forces of Kiev which report the loss of another 5 tanks (with a total that rises to 3016 units), the destruction of another 5 artillery systems (1996 in total) and a drone.

The drone attack on the historic Engels base

The attack with a drone by the Ukrainians on the Engels base, near the city of Saratov which is also the capital of the oblast, did not reach its target, however, causing three deaths among the Russians hit by the wreckage and the explosive charge of the small aircraft destroyed by flak. Meanwhile, however, Kiev demonstrates for the second time that it can go up to 500 kilometers from the borders: the first attack dates back to December 5 and on that occasion the Ukrainians managed to damage two Tu-95 turboprop bombers, christened Bear by NATO.

Since the beginning of the war, the Engels base (Engels 2), a few kilometers from the city dedicated to the philosopher, has returned again in the news because it is central to the strategies of the Russian air forces as it was at the time of the cold war thanks to the fact that it heavy bombers capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

In addition to the Bears, for over 30 years in its shelters (shelters) it has welcomed the Tu-160 (Blackjack for NATO) the heaviest bomber in the world, the most valuable arrow in the Russian air fleet. Bisonic, variable geometry wings, ceiling of 17 kilometres, it can carry over 30 tons of bombs as well as air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. Fully loaded, it weighs 270 tons. A giant 55 meters long and wide, which always flies heavily escorted and which in practice can only be attacked by Kiev’s forces when it is on the ground, a circumstance revealed by satellite footage. An attack with thruster drones flying at very low altitude to escape radar and carrying a few tens of kilograms of traditional explosives or short-range air-to-ground missiles. Aircraft weighing 650 kilograms “fully loaded”, such as the Turkish-made Bayraktar, taken off with the aim of hitting 270-ton giants. The value of these attacks so far from the Ukrainian borders is thus much higher than that of the actual results achieved. However, Kiev continues not to claim these attacks even though it defines them as a consequence of the attack unleashed by Russia against Ukraine.

Russia is ready to reopen the Yamal gas pipeline to Europe

Russia is ready to reopen the Yamal gas pipeline to Europe. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said so in an interview with Tass, adding that despite the war the European market remains “open” for Russian LNG and that in 11 months of 2022 supplies of liquefied natural gas increased to 19.4 billion of cubic meters, with a forecast of 21 billion by the end of the year. Novak says there is still a gas deficit in Europe, so Moscow is ready to resume supplies via the Yamal-Europe pipeline and is holding negotiations on an increase in supplies through Turkey after the creation of a gas hub in the country by Erdogan. «The European market remains relevant – observes Novak – because the gas deficit remains and we have the ability to restore supplies. For example, the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which was closed for political reasons, is unused.” At the moment, writes the Tass, Russia supplies gas through the TurkStream, which is currently operating at full capacity, while 42 million cubic meters of gas pass through the Ukrainian route every day, about a third of the transit volume stipulated in the contract. «Today – concludes Novak – we can say with certainty that there is a demand for our gas» from European consumers, «so we continue to see Europe as a potential market for our products. However, it is clear that a large-scale campaign was launched against us, which ended in the sabotage of Nord Stream”.

War in Ukraine directed today 26 December: Christmas day marked the beginning of the eleventh month of Russia’s aggression which, despite the difficulties caused by the resistance of the armed forces of Kiev supported by the West, does not intend to negotiate to reach peace. A terrible situation for the Ukrainian population short of electricity, heating, food and communications with the millions of compatriots displaced in the rest of Europe. The Russian strategy openly aims to weaken the resistance of Ukrainian citizens by bombing homes and power plants.

Paolo Ricci Bitti

The attack on the base by Russian bombers

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian army manages to hit the attackers even at their home, 500 kilometers from the border. Three people have died in an attack by a Ukrainian drone on a military airfield in Russia’s Saratov region that was thwarted by Moscow’s air defences, the Russian Defense Ministry said today. “The Ukrainian drone was approaching Engels airport at a low altitude,” reads a statement quoted by the Tass news agency. “Three members of the Russian technical service at the airport suffered fatal injuries from falling fragments of the aircraft,” the ministry added. Bombers in particular are deployed at the Engels base

War in Ukraine, directed today 26 December: Kiev drones attack the Russian base of nuclear Tu-160 bombers in Engels, hundreds of kilometers from the border: three dead. Video