Tupolev Tu-22M3: Ukrainian strikes reportedly hit bases in Russia housing supersonic warplanes


Ukrainian forces seem to have stepped up their efforts to weaken Russian air superiority in the conflict by attacking bases that home supersonic warplanes deep inside Russian territory.

Kyiv stated it had carried out a drone strike on the Shaykovka Russian army air facility some 200 kilometers (130 miles) northeast of the Ukrainian border on Monday. Over the weekend, Russia’s protection ministry stated one other Ukrainian drone hit the Soltsy army airfield in the Novgorod area, additionally a whole bunch of kilometers north of Ukraine.

Moscow’s dominance in the skies has been a serious impediment for Ukraine’s counteroffensive. Ukrainian forces have been working their method by way of dense minefields and a number of layers of defenses alongside the frontlines in current weeks, whereas often coming underneath assault from above.

That’s why Kyiv has made it a precedence to get F-16 fighter jets from its allies. But whereas the Netherlands and Denmark each agreed this week to supply the plane, it’s going to take many months earlier than Ukrainian pilots are skilled up to make use of them. In the meantime, Ukraine appears to be attempting to make a dent in Russia’s air energy by focusing on its air bases.

The Shaykovka army air base operates Tupolev Tu-22M3 supersonic long-range bombers which have been utilized by Russia to strike targets in Ukraine because the begin of its full-scale invasion final 12 months. Just final week, the Ukrainian air drive reported that plane flying from Shaykovka had launched 4 Kh-22 cruise missiles in direction of Ukraine.

Andriy Yusov, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence, stated {that a} drone assault on the Shaykovka base in Russia’s Kaluga area on Monday left “at least one aircraft damaged.”

Speaking to Ukrainian media Liga.internet, Yusov stated the strike was carried out “in clear coordination with the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ukraine’s Defense Ministry,” including that this particular job was carried out from inside Russian territory.

Ukraine performs numerous duties from inside Russia “in many other cases,” he added.

Russia has not formally commented on the most recent incident. However, Baza – a Russian social media weblog that has shut contacts with the nation’s safety companies – stated {that a} Ukrainian drone had crashed on the Shaykovka base on Monday and that “an unused aircraft at the airfield was damaged.” It stated that the knowledge has not been formally confirmed.

Another Russian Telegram channel, Mash, additionally reported the incident.

“A Ukrainian UAV landed on the territory of the airfield at around eight o’clock this morning. According to our information, it was a civilian copter equipped with an IED (improvised explosive device) and a reinforced battery – it was spotted in time and shot down,” Mash stated.

Earlier, the governor of the area, Vladislav Shapsha, reported {that a} UAV assault was “repelled” in the Kirov district. The air base is about 15 kilometers north of the city of Kirov.

Yusov stated that Russia was attempting to underplay the incident. “At least one plane is damaged. As in most cases, the Russian regime is trying to hide the true extent of losses and damage,” he stated.

The assault on Monday was the second strike in opposition to a Russian air base housing highly effective {hardware} in simply three days.

Russia’s Defense Ministry stated Saturday {that a} Ukrainian drone broken a aircraft at a army airfield in Soltsy in the northwest Novgorod area. Ukraine didn’t touch upon that incident.

The Russian ministry stated the drone struck the sphere on Saturday morning and brought about hearth to interrupt out. It claimed the drone was noticed and “hit by small arms.” The ministry assertion didn’t present any particulars on the harm, solely saying there have been no casualties on account of the assault.

A CNN evaluation of satellite tv for pc photographs of the bottom confirmed that this airfield was additionally used to accommodate Tu-22M3 supersonic bombers.

An picture taken on August 8 reveals quite a lot of Tu-22 bombers parked there. Then a picture taken on August 21 seems to point out charred floor the place one of many Tu-22M3 planes was parked, whereas the remainder of the plane seem to have been moved.

Two social media photographs geolocated by CNN present an identical plane on hearth on the identical base.

Ukrainian media reported that assaults on Russian bases over the previous few days have destroyed a number of plane together with two bombers, citing unnamed Ukrainian protection intelligence officers.

According to the Washington-based assume tank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a number of Russian army bloggers claimed that Ukrainian forces used a small and comparatively cheap quadcopter drone to conduct the assault and criticized the Russian Ministry of Defense for not storing the plane in hangars the place they’d have been protected.

The ISW added that whereas harm to or destruction of two Tu-22M3 bombers isn’t going to have a serious army impact, the response by Russian army bloggers reveals “such deep attacks support larger Ukrainian efforts to degrade Russian morale.”

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