Damage at the Dyagilevo airbase near Ryazan in Russia after an explosion, December 5, 2022 (ImageSat International)
Source: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1532 GMT:
The Russian proxy head of the Donetsk city administration, Alexei Kulemzin, says Ukrainian shelling killed at least six civilians on Tuesday.
One was those killed, Maria Pirogova, was a deputy in the People’s Council of the Russian proxy “Donetsk People’s Republic”, said DPR head Denis Pushilin.
UPDATE 1500 GMT:
Western officials say Russia ran out of Iranian-made attack drones between two and three weeks ago.
The officials say Moscow is “anticipating a resupply”, but there are no signs yet of a new delivery.
Iran has provided hundreds — Ukrainian officials say up to 2,500 — of Shahed-136 “kamikaze” drones and Mohajer-6 surveillance drones for Russian operations in Ukraine.
Most of the Shahed-136s were downed by Ukrainian air defenses, but some “swarms” were able to get through and strike energy infrastructure and civilian sites.
Ukraine President advisor Mykhailo Podolyak said there is also no indication that Iran has delivered ballistic missiles to Moscow, despite reports this autumn that the two countries were completing a deal.
Podolyak said Russian forces have enough cruise missiles for “two or three” more mass strikes against Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.
The Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, visited Tehran in November. However, Podolyak said any deal has been complicated by the environment outside and inside the Islamic Republic.
Iran has come under huge diplomatic pressure and the protests have also raised pressure on the government.
The government is starting to lose its grip on Iranian society and their inner domestic problems are growing. That’s why they just don’t have time for dealing with Russia. It’s not their priority.
UPDATE 1455 GMT:
Ukraine and Russia have completed another exchange of prisoners, with 60 detainees on each side returned.
Ukraine Presidential Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak said the Ukrainians include dozens who held out for weeks in the besieged Azovstal steelworks in the port city of Mariupol this spring.
Another successful POWs swap. Symbolically, it took place on the Armed Forces Day. 60 people are coming home. Among them are army servicemen, the National and Border Guards. pic.twitter.com/EoNCEbTiht
— Andriy Yermak (@AndriyYermak) December 6, 2022
UPDATE 1225 GMT:
Hungary, whose President Viktor Orbán is close to Vladimir Putin, has blocked European Union agreement on an €18 billion ($18.95) financial aid package for Ukraine.
The European Commission will now look at how to “provide the necessary solution to Ukraine already as of January”, EU Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn said during a public session of EU Finance Ministers.
EU officials said could be done through “enhanced cooperation”, a legal mechanism to avoid a veto by a member-state. However, this requires countries to provide national bugetary guarantees — given that parliamentary approval will be needed in some cases, the process will not be immediate.
Orban is trying to use the Ukraine War to obtain Hungary’s share of EU and recovery funds. The EU has sought to hold back some funds because of breaches of the rule of law by the Orban Government.
“We will not be discouraged,” Czech Finance Minister Zbyněk Stanjura, the chair of the meeting, said. “Our ambition remains that we will start disbursements to Ukraine in January.”
The Czech Presidency could hold another finance ministers’ summit or take the issue to the meeting of EU leaders in mid-December.
EU governments have until December 19 to take a position on freezing funds for Hungary. Orbán needs a recovery plan adopted by the end of the year to avoid the loss of 70% of €5.8 billion ($6.11 billion) in grants.
UPDATE 1156 GMT:
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is marking Armed Forces Day with a visit to Slovyansk in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.
The city was liberated in July 2014 after a three-month occupation by Russian proxy forces.
It’s Armed Forces Day in Ukraine today. President Zelensky goes all the way down to Slovyansk in Donetsk oblast to meet Ukrainian troops and wish them well on their day. In his full video address Zelensky calls UA military ‘the strongest, the most powerful, the best’. pic.twitter.com/v2eBctd56b
— Myroslava Petsa (@myroslavapetsa) December 6, 2022
UPDATE 1149 GMT:
Frustrated that there is no longer a prospect of victory, Russian State TV suggests Ukrainians are motivated to fight by “cannibalism”.
On Russian state TV they're having real trouble working out what Ukrainians are fighting for
A "simply misanthropic" ideology "linked to cannibalism" seems to be their entirely reasonable conclusion 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/kB9uNvrTYV
— Francis Scarr (@francis_scarr) December 6, 2022
UPDATE 0854 GMT:
Latvia’s authorities have revoked the license of the exiled Russian TV channel Dozhd (Rain).
Ivars Abolins, the head of the National Electronic Media Council, said the decision is “due to the threat to national security and public order”. It will take effect on Thursday.
Earlier this month, the NEPLP fined Dozhd 10,000 euros ($10,500) for broadcasting depicting occupied Crimea as part of Russia and referring to Russian forces as “our army”.. Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks called for the residence permits of Dozhd staff to be revoked after host Aleksey Korostelev said in a live broadcast that the station was “able to help” the Russian military.
Dozhd was blocked inside Russia a few days after Vladimir Putin’s February 24 invasion. It was granted a broadcast license in Latvia in June and announced the resumption of broadcasting in July.
UPDATE 0847 GMT:
Vladimir Putin has signed legislation banning public expression of LGBTQ identity in Russia.
The law, passed by the Duma 397-0 on November 24, establishes a crime of “propaganda” about “non-traditional sexual relations” in the media, advertising, movies, or social media.
UPDATE 0833 GMT:
Russian shelling has killed a 68-year-old man in the Kharkiv region in northeast Ukraine.
The latest Russian attacks on the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine have injured nine civilians: four in Ivanivske, three in Bakhmut, one in Maksymilianivka, and one in Toretsk.
UPDATE 0812 GMT:
Military analyst Rob Lee posts a claimed photo of a TU-22M bomber damaged in Monday’s strike on the Dyagilevo airbase in Russia’s Ryazan region.
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) December 5, 2022
UPDATE 0806 GMT:
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights says it has confirmed the killing of 6,702 civilians and wounding of 10,479 during Russia’s invasion.
The OHCHR issued its standard caveat that the actual toll is likely to be far higher.
UPDATE 0754 GMT:
Russia fired overnight on the Zaporizhzhia region in southern Ukraine.
Governor Oleksandr Starukh said critical infrastructure and residential buildings were damaged. There are no casualties so far.
In his nightly address to the nation, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky says “maximum efforts” for repair continue in the Kyiv, Sumy, Kirovohard, Odesa, Zaporizhzhia, and Kharkiv regions with emergency shutdowns.
He expressed gratitude to partners for help with air defense. Howeveer, “unfortunately there are victims. As of this time, the list of those killed by Russian strikes today is four.”
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Russia has launched another missile barrage across Ukraine, but the assault was blunted by the downing of more than 60 of the more than 70 fired.
Meanwhile, three Russian airfields — two of them far away from the Ukraine border — have been struck. Russian officials blame Ukrainian drones.
Ukrainian services gave notice of the incoming Russian missiles well before the first were due to land about 2:15 p.m. Initial reports indicated more than 100 had been fired, matching Russia’s largest attack in October.
In the end, the assault was about the same size as the last Russian mass attack on November 23, and was less successful. About 10 missile reached targets, but power outages were much less extensive than in previous waves of strikes.
At least two people were killed in the Zaporizhzhia region when houses were destroyed. Power was knocked out in the Sumy region in northern Ukraine. About 40% of consumers lost electricity in Kyiv; however, there was no “critical” damage to energy infrastructure. Outages were also reported in the Odesa and Zhytomyr regions.
The all clear was sounded late in the afternoon. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy reported the downing of about 85% of the missiles, and said workers had already begun restoration of power supplies.
Russian Airbases Hit by Long-Range Ukraine Drones?
Early Monday morning, Russian media posted videos of an explosion at the Engels-2 airbase in the Saratov region in southwest Russia. That was followed by news of a blast at the Dyagilevo airbase near the city of Ryazan, less than 150 miles from Moscow, killing three troops and wounding five.
Engels-2 is about 315 miles from the Ukraine border and Dyagilevo about 285 miles. Both bases host Tu-95 and Tu-22M long-range bombers, used to fire cruise missiles on Ukraine.
Early Tuesday, an airbase in the Kursk region was hit. Governor Roman Starovoyt said an oil storage tank had been set afire, and there were no casualties.
A drone attacked an airfield in the Russian city of Kursk, the governor of the Kursk region, Roman Starovoit, said. According to him, as a result of the attack, an oil storage tank near the airfield caught fire pic.twitter.com/fYwKubPshV
— The New Voice of Ukraine (@NewVoiceUkraine) December 6, 2022
Astra, an independent Russian media outlet, said two Tu-95 bombers were damaged on the Engels-2 base, the home of Russia’s long-range squadrons with more than 30 heavy bombers on its runways.
Russia’s Defense Ministry acknowledged damage to two unidentified warplanes and said Ukrainian drones were responsible.
Kyiv officially made no comment claiming responsibility. But “a senior Ukrainian official” told journalists, “The drones were launched from Ukrainian territory, and at least one of the strikes was made with the help of special forces close to the base who helped guide the drones to the target.”
Ukraine was not known to have any loitering drones that can attack hundreds of miles beyond frontlines. However, State-owned weapons manufacturer Ukroboronprom has indicated several times since October that it is close to manufacture of a long-range drone. On Facebook, it posted an image of the UAV’s structure: “Range is 1000 km, weight of the combat unit is 75 kg. Putting the final touches on this one.”
On November 24, the company followed up “The next stage of UAV testing — On behalf of the Chief of the General Staff, we are getting ready for flight tests under the action of electronic warfare.” On the side of the test drone was the inscription “Az Vozdam (I Will Repay)”.
On Saturday, company spokeswoman Natalia Sad told Ukrainian television:
As of today, a number of stages of successful tests have been completed. In accordance with the instructions of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, we are moving to the stage of tests involving an e-warfare jamming environment.
In August, an explosion at Russia’s Saky airbase in occupied Crimea destroyed half of the Russian Black Sea fleet’s warplanes. While Kyiv never acknowledged that it attacked, Ukranian drones and/or sabotage on the ground is believed to be the cause.