CCTV footage geolocated by CNN to the Russian city of Engels, where a Russian air base is located, appears to show an explosion lighting up the sky at around 6 a.m. on Monday morning.
Engels is a port city on the Volga River located in Saratov Oblast, in western Russia, around 500 miles (more than 800 kilometers) southeast of Moscow. The CCTV footage shared on social media was recorded approximately 3.7 miles (nearly 6 kilometers) away from where the Engels-2 airfield is located, a strategic bomber airbase.
Saratov region Gov. Roman Busargin, reassured residents on Telegram that no civilian infrastructure was damaged but said “information about incidents at military facilities is being checked by law enforcement agencies.”
He acknowledged information about “about a loud bang and a burst in Engels in the early morning” was spreading on social networks and the media.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was asked about this incident and another explosion at a Russian airfield near the city of Ryazan, around 200 kilometers (about 124 miles) southeast of Moscow, during a regular call with journalists on Monday.
“I do not have the exact information, I only saw media reports, but I do not have the exact details and I cannot comment. I recommend contacting the Defense Ministry,” Peskov said when asked about this. He said “of course” President Vladimir Putin had been informed.
CNN had contacted the Russian Ministry of Defense for comment.
Later Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Ukraine used drones to attack two Russian military airfields on Monday morning.
In a statement carried on the official Russian news agency RIA Novosti, the ministry said the attacks were "in the Saratov and Ryazan regions" but had been intercepted by air defenses.
Russian state media also reported three people were killed and six injured after a fuel truck exploded at the Russian airfield near the city of Ryazan. The explosion occurred at an aircraft parking lot at the airfield, emergency services told state news agency TASS on Monday.
Pro-Russian bloggers have said that the incidents were likely an act of sabotage from Ukraine.
Yurii Ihnat, spokesperson for the Command of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, shared a social media report of a “blast at the Engels airfield” on Facebook but made no claim of responsibility. “And who did it?,” he wrote.
Later on national television Ihnat referenced the blasts while announcing the launch of a new Russian missile attack towards Ukraine, saying: “We have information that today there were blasts at the Engels airfield. And immediately after that there was a commotion at this airfield.
“Perhaps it is not connected with this, but still we see that strategic bombers have taken off and the first wave of missiles was already launched. There may be several of them [waves], they may use several waves of attacks to disperse the missiles throughout Ukraine and to confuse the actions of our air defense.”