A stunning video shows the moment a huge explosion lights up the night above the Russian Kaluga region.
Russian news Telegram channel Shot reported a person asking whether the blast was “a firework or what” as the explosion left behind a long, bright trail.
The Russian Defence Ministry claimed the explosion was the result of its air defence system downing an S-200 missile shot by the Ukrainian army over the region.
In mid-August, Russia accused Ukraine of launching S-200 missiles to hit Kerch Bridge, which links Russia to the annexed Crimean peninsula.
Kyiv hasn’t claimed responsibility for this attack, and while Moscow claimed the missile was attempting to strike civilians, its intended target may have been the nearby Shaykovka military airfield.
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Vladimir Putin’s Tupolev Tu-22M3 supersonic long-range bombers, which have been extensively used by Russia to strike targets in Ukraine, are stationed at this base.
The overnight missile strike in the area southwest of Moscow prompted the temporary closure of the Vnukovo and Domodedovo airports.
It isn’t known whether other missiles were shot at the military airport and if any hit their target.
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The Shaykovka military air base was also the target of a strike launched by Kyiv on Monday.
Andriy Yusov, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence, said earlier this week that a drone attack on the base had left “at least one aircraft damaged”.
News of the missile flying near the base likely contributed to sour Putin’s mood alongside reports Ukraine launched 42 drones over Crimea overnight.
Russia said its air defence forces downed nine dones while the others were suppressed using electronic warfare.
These drones, the Russian MoD also said, crashed over Crimea – which Moscow annexed in 2014 amid international clamour – without reaching their targets.
Putin made his latest public appearance on Thursday, when he broke his silence over the alleged death of Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Speaking about his former ally and warlord, who rebelled against the Kremlin in June, Russia’s president said he was a “talented person” who “made serious mistakes in life”.
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