Again there were explosions at a Russian air force base. Three people are said to have died because of Ukrainian drone parts. Despite growing tensions with the West, Putin sees Russia on the right course. What happened tonight in the war against Ukraine.

According to Russian sources, three soldiers were killed in the second drone attack within a few weeks on the Engels-2 military airfield in southern Russia, hundreds of kilometers from the Ukrainian border. “On December 26 at 1:35 Moscow time, the Russian anti-aircraft defense system shot down a Ukrainian drone at low altitude while approaching the Engels airbase in the Saratov region,” the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday. Three soldiers were killed by the falling splinters. The information could not initially be verified independently.

The Ukrainian news agency “RBC-Ukraine” reported two explosions. The Russian news agency Baza, citing local residents, said that in the town of Engels (about five kilometers away) the air raid sirens were howling and an explosion could be heard.

According to the region’s governor, Roman Busarqin, there is no danger to the residents and there is said to have been no damage to the civilian infrastructure. Located hundreds of kilometers from the Ukrainian border, Engels-2 is one of two Russian strategic nuclear forces air bases. It is about 730 kilometers south-east of Moscow and has strategic bombers stationed there.

Most recently, on December 5, there were explosions at Russian airfields, including Engels-2. Russia reported drone strikes. Ukraine initially did not claim responsibility for the drone strikes.

Only a few days left until the end of the year: “We must be aware that our enemy will try to make this time dark and difficult for us,” Zelenskyj said in his daily video address on Sunday evening. Russia lost everything it could lose this year. “But it is trying to make up for its losses with the cunning of its propagandists after the missile attacks on our country, on our energy sector.”

“I know that the darkness will not prevent us from leading the occupiers to their new defeats,” Zelenskyy said. “But we have to be prepared for every scenario.”

Zelenskyj addressed sharp words to the Russian military, who killed at least 16 people and wounded another 64 in artillery attacks in Kherson in the south of the country on Saturday. “Beasts,” he said. “We will find every killer.”

Ten months after the start of his war against Ukraine, Kremlin chief Putin sees Russia on the right course, despite growing tensions with the West. “I think we’re moving in the right direction, we’re protecting our national interests, the interests of our citizens, our people,” said the 70-year-old in a brief interview published by Russian state television on Sunday.

In it, the President again stressed that Russia is ready to negotiate a solution to the conflict over Ukraine. “We stand ready to agree on any acceptable solutions with all those involved in the process. But that’s their business. We don’t reject negotiations, they do,” Putin said.

Kyiv does not believe in the Kremlin chief’s words. “Russia does not want negotiations and is trying to avoid responsibility (for the war),” tweeted Zelenskyi’s adviser Mykhailo Podoliak. “Therefore, it is obvious that we are moving to a tribunal.” According to Kiev’s ideas, Russia’s political and military leadership should answer for the war of aggression before an international court of justice modeled on the Nuremberg tribunal.

“The subject Putin should return to reality: Russia alone attacked Ukraine and is killing its citizens,” Podoliak wrote. There are no other “sides, motives or geopolitics”.

Kremlin chief Putin has repeatedly indicated a willingness to negotiate in the past few days, but without going into the preconditions set by Kyiv. While Moscow would negotiate on the basis of today’s front line, Kyiv initially demands the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, including Crimea, as well as reparation payments.

The Ukrainian armed forces say they have disabled a Russian command post in an attack in the Cherson region in the south of the country. The staff in the village of Sabaryne was attacked during an officers’ meeting, the general staff of the Ukrainian army said in Kyiv on Sunday. At least 70 soldiers were wounded in the process, and the number of dead is not yet certain. The information could not initially be verified independently.

During the course of the war, the Ukrainian defenders repeatedly attacked Russian command centers and command posts. These had been localized either by monitoring the radio traffic or the mobile network. Several high-ranking Russian officers have already been killed.

Russian invading forces have continued their attacks against the frontline town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine. The attackers were inflicted “systematic heavy losses,” said Serhiy Chervatko, spokesman for the Ukrainian Army Group East on Sunday. At least 50 Russian soldiers have been killed and another 80 wounded since Saturday alone. The information could not be independently verified.

The city of Bakhmut is considered the so-called cornerstone of the front in eastern Ukraine. A breakthrough at this point would allow Russian troops to penetrate deep behind the Ukrainian lines. The city has since been expanded into a fortress by the defenders.

In a television interview, the financier of the Russian private army “Wagner”, Yevgeny Prigozhin, bemoaned the lack of engagement of oligarchs and the rich in Moscow’s war against Ukraine. “You are scared. You like the convenience. They all want to dive into a warm pool in the evening and have fun,” the 61-year-old said in an interview with Russian state TV channel RT on Saturday. He advocated taking everything away from these Russian compatriots. From his point of view, they would then also be ready to work for the front. Like many wealthy Russians, Putin confidant Prigozhin has been subject to Western sanctions for supporting the war in Ukraine.

That will be important on Monday

Later this week, possibly as early as Monday, Zelenskyj will give his annual address to the members of the Rada, the Ukrainian parliament. The exact date is not given for security reasons.

Also Read: Yesterday’s Ukraine Update