On December 5, Ukrainian troops attacked two Russian airbases with modified Soviet Tu-141 Strizh drones with a flight range of one thousand kilometers.
Citing two sources, Politico writes that the modernization of such old UAVs as the reconnaissance Tu-141 shows the ability of the Ukrainian defense industry to innovate in wartime conditions, and the attack itself speaks of the shaky air defense of the Russian Federation.
One of the unnamed employees of the Ukrainian government believes that the key factor in the success of those attacks was surprise — Russia simply "didnʼt expect anything like this."
The Defense Express portal also suggests that the Armed Forces of Ukraine used the Tu-141. The material of the portal talks about the transformation of a helpless UAV of the 70s into a ground-based cruise missile, which is a little more than a simple conversion and will have global positive consequences for Ukraine. Until 2022, the Armed Forces of Ukraine considered the Tu-141 as targets for training anti-aircraft calculations.
- On December 5, unknown drones attacked two airfields in Russia — in Dyaghilevo and Engels, on which strategic aviation is based. It is from these airfields that Russian planes take off to launch missile strikes on Ukraine. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation acknowledged the death of three servicemen and the damage to two military aircraft.
- On December 6, drones attacked an airfield in the Kursk region. Kursk Eastern airport is located there. M. I. Gurevich, on which the fighter and bomber aviation of the Russian Federation is based. On the same day, drones attacked a plant of the Russian State Reserve in Bryansk region.
- Ukraine has not officially claimed responsibility for the attacks. Propagandists of the occupiers assume that the bases could have been attacked by Soviet Tu-141 Strizh or Tu-143 Reis UAVs, which Ukraine has. The mass media wrote that they could be modernized. Some mentioned the October announcement by Ukroboronprom about work on a kamikaze drone with a flight range of a thousand kilometers.
- An unnamed defense adviser to the Ukrainian government told the Financial Times that Soviet drones were not involved in attacks on bases, nor was the development of Ukroboronprom. According to him, the involved drones are a joint development of the state and private business.