An air base deep in Russian territory has been attacked twice with drones in less than one month. It is not some remote outlying facility either. The air base near the city of Saratov houses nuclear-capable Russian strategic bomber aircraft.
The latest attack was on December 26 in which three Russian servicemen were killed from falling drone debris after the weapon was reportedly shot down. Saratov is 730 kilometers southeast of Moscow and hundreds of kilometers from the Ukrainian border.
On December 5, the air base was also targeted, again apparently by drones. On the same day, an air base at Rayazan less than 200 kilometers from Moscow was also attacked. The next day on December 6, a military facility at Kursk was targeted.
Ukrainian forces have not openly claimed responsibility for the attacks but there have been reports in the U.S. media hinting at that. The White House and State Department have both denied any American involvement, claiming that the U.S. has urged Ukraine not to strike Russian territory. “We are not encouraging Ukraine to strike beyond its borders,” said Ned Price, the State Department spokesman.
Nevertheless, there is the question of how are drones making their way deep inside Russian territory to launch air strikes on strategic targets.
It seems implausible that offensive unmanned aerial vehicles could travel undetected for hundreds of kilometers over Russian airspace, and then mount attacks on highly sensitive military sites. More likely, the weapons have been activated near their intended targets.
A recent separate report by investigative reporter Jack Murphy may shed some light. He does not refer to the spate of drone attacks on Russian air bases. But he cites former U.S. intelligence agents who claim that the Central Intelligence Agency is running clandestine sabotage teams inside Russia.
According to the report, the CIA is working with a European NATO ally to activate sleeper cells that have infiltrated Russia with caches of weapons. There are no Americans on the ground and the purported liaison with the NATO ally’s agents gives an extra layer of plausible deniability for Washington.
The reporter claims that the extra plausible deniability is a major factor that would enable U.S. President Joe Biden to approve of such provocative covert operations on Russian soil.
Lending credibility to such a scheme is numerous reports of mysterious explosions across Russia since it launched its special military operation in Ukraine back in February. Several military facilities have been destroyed by fires which Russian media have tended to report as due to unexplained accidents.
A Russian aerospace research institute in the city of Tver was set ablaze on April 21 in which several people were reportedly killed. Several other munition depots have also been hit with apparently freak accidental infernos.
Last week, on December 23, a military center in Moscow’s Eastside was badly damaged by a major fire that burned for over four hours. The day before, Russia’s sole aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, was engulfed in flames while undergoing repairs docked in Murmansk.
What we are surmising here is that it is entirely plausible that a spate of deadly incidents at military facilities across Russia over the past year is no accidental coincidence but rather has been instigated as sabotage operations aimed at sowing confusion and logistical problems for Russia’s campaign in Ukraine.
That pattern ties in with the above report claiming that the CIA has been busy infiltrating Russian territory along with a European NATO ally for this very purpose.
In particular, the attacks carried out on high-security air bases deep in Russia strongly suggest that the weapons used for such raids were already emplaced in Russia by the alleged CIA sleeper cells. It seems unlikely that drones could have traversed such long distances from Ukrainian territory deep inside Russia undetected.
The use of sabotage teams behind enemy lines is nothing new for the CIA in regard to Russia. Following the Second World War, the newly formed Central Intelligence Agency recruited Nazi intelligence officers and operatives to carry out terrorist attacks in Soviet territories. Hitler’s top spymaster Lieutenant General Reinhard Gehlen and the Gehlen Organization became prized CIA assets following the war.
But it is significant that the CIA reportedly took a renewed active role in infiltrating Russia after the 2014 coup it helped orchestrate in Ukraine.
According to reporting by Jack Murphy: “The first of these sleeper cells under the combined control of the CIA and the allied spy service infiltrated into Russia in 2016, according to a former U.S. military official and a U.S. person who has been briefed on the campaign… After the 2016 infiltrations, more teams slipped into Russia over the next several years. Some smuggled in new munitions, while others have relied on the original caches, according to two former military officials and a person who has been briefed on the sabotage campaign.”
What this means is that the U.S. war planners were fully anticipating the current proxy war in Ukraine against Russia.
This corroborates admissions by NATO chiefs and former German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the post-coup Kiev regime was prepped for war against Russia at least eight years prior to the eruption of hostilities in February 2022.
If indeed the CIA is behind the deeply penetrating attacks on Russia and President Biden has signed off on them, then that has grave implications for how this conflict can be resolved. It suggests that the United States has been systematically planning a war on Russia and is not simply reacting to Russia’s operation in Ukraine by supplying defensive weapons.
In other words, Ukraine was put on a hair-trigger, set to go off as a cover for American aggression against Russia.
Finian Cunningham: Former editor and writer for major news media organizations. He has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages.