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Sabotage of military helicopters deep inside Russia purportedly shown on video

Video has emerged purporting to show a man preparing and planting explosives on a Russian military helicopter at an airbase deep inside Russia.

Subsequent satellite imagery shows several damaged helicopters at the base in Pskov region in northern Russia. The base is about 35 kilometers from the border with Latvia, but nearly 1,000 kilometers from Ukraine.

The sabotage of the helicopters is the furthest from Ukrainian territory that an attack has been confirmed against a Russian military target since the conflict began.

The video shows an unidentified man placing something inside a helicopter. At one point he puts something to his ear, possibly a timer. At another moment, a Ka-52 attack helicopter is clearly visible.

The video is shot in daylight but the explosions did not occur until after nightfall, according to unofficial Russian media.

CNN has geolocated the video to the Veretye base at Beredniki.

Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence said Tuesday that a “powerful explosion occurred at the air base of the Russian Armed Forces “Veretier” on the night of October 31.”

While not claiming a Ukrainian sabotage unit carried out the attack, it said that “as a result of mining, two Russian attack (KA-52) helicopters and one MI-28N were completely destroyed. Two more were significantly damaged.”

A satellite image published Tuesday showed several damaged helicopters at the base.

One unofficial Russian media outlet reported explosions at the base.

The Telegram channel Baza said: “At around 10 pm [on October 31], the military personnel of the unit heard several explosions, and then saw the scattered wreckage of two helicopters. The explosion was so strong that the fragments of the fuselage scattered 200 meters around. The reason for the Ka-52 explosion is unknown.”

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