Russian airfield hit, a day after drone strikes on bases

A fire broke out early Tuesday at an airport in Russia’s southern Kursk region, which borders Ukraine, the regional governor reported, blaming a drone attack.


The fire occurred the day after Moscow blamed Kyiv for drone strikes on two air bases deep inside Russia and launched another wave of missile strikes on Ukrainian territory.


“As a result of a drone attack, an oil reservoir caught on fire in the area of Kursk airport. The fire is being contained. All emergency services are working on the spot,” Kursk Governor Roman Starovoy said in a Telegram post.


Read more: Russia claims Kyiv hit its air bases, fires more missiles


Ukrainian officials have not formally confirmed carrying out the attacks.


The unprecedented attacks in Russia threatened a major escalation of the nine-month war. One of the airfields that was hit houses bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons.


The attacks showed the vulnerability of some of Russia’s most strategic military sites, raising questions about the effectiveness of their air defenses if drones could come so close to them.


The ministry didn’t say where the drones had originated, but Russian military bloggers said they likely were launched by Ukrainian scouts.


The Russian Defense Ministry said it had shot down two Ukrainian drones. It said three Russian servicemen were killed and four others wounded by debris, and that two aircraft were slightly damaged.


Read more: Ukrainians hid orphaned children from Russian deportation


The attacks on the Engels base in the Saratov region on the Volga River and the Dyagilevo base in the Ryazan region in western Russia were part of Ukraine’s efforts to curtail Russia’s long-range bomber force, the ministry said.


The Engels base, located more than 600 kilometers (more than 370 miles) east of the border with Ukraine, houses the Tu-95 and Tu-160 nuclear-capable strategic bombers that have been involved in launching strikes on Ukraine. The Dyagilevo air base, which houses tanker aircraft used to refuel other planes in flight, is about 500 kilometers (over 300 miles) northeast of the Ukrainian border.


Source: United News of Bangladesh


$1 billion loan: ADB vice-president to reach Dhaka tonight for discussion


Ashok Lavasa, vice-president of Asian Development Bank (ADB), will arrive in Dhaka tonight to discuss Bangladesh’s requirement of USD 1 billion in loan assistance for budget implementation, Economic Relations Department (ERD) sources have said.


Lavasa, in-charge of Private Sector Operations and Public-Private Partnerships, will meet the planning minister and foreign minister during his weeklong visit.


The ADB vice-president will also have discussion with Bangladesh Bank on debt management, government expenditure and other issues.


Earlier, ERD sent a loan proposal of USD 1 billion to ADB for budget support.


ADB’s Dhaka office has informed the Ministry of Finance about Lavasa’s visit.


Also read: ADB to invest $2 billion over next 3 years in Bangladesh’s education sector


Apart from the loan proposal, the progress of the ongoing projects in the country with ADB assistance will also feature in the discussion.


The ADB vice-president will hold several meetings with private entrepreneurs and people at the policy-making level of the government. He will visit garment factories and a private food processing plant which was funded by ADB.


Earlier, IMF and Bangladesh reached a preliminary agreement on USD 4.5 billion loan. If finalized, the first instalment of USD 447 million will be available in February 2023. Besides, USD 250 million will be available from the World Bank as a budget support loan. Recently, the delegations of these two organisations gave assurance in this regard during their visits to Dhaka.


When asked, Planning Minister MA Mannan told UNB, “ADB has given us the major portion of loans compared to other donor agencies. I have asked them for a loan as budget support and the process is going on.”


“Before giving loans, ADB will check the country’s economic indicators. It will also give some conditions. Their response to this loan is positive so far,” the minister said.


A senior official of the ERD, involved in ADB’s loan process, said that the organization has never provided loan assistance as budget support. But since Covid-19 outbreak, ADB has started providing loan assistance in this sector.


Source: United News of Bangladesh