New photos have surfaced online appearing to show at least one Russian Tu-22M3 supersonic bomber in flames after Moscow blamed Kiev for a drone attack deep in Russian territory.
Photos widely spread on social media – too subscriber By Anton Gerashchenko, Advisor to Ukraine’s Ministry of Interior – Show what appears to be part of an aircraft in the center of a fireball, with smoke billowing into the air. In the foreground of the photos is what appears to be the runway of a military base.
The images purport to show the damage caused by a long-range strike on Russia’s Soltsy air base, which Russia accused Ukraine of carrying out on Saturday. In a statement, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that Ukraine used a quadcopter drone to target a military airport in Novgorod around 10 a.m. Moscow time, saying that one of the planes was damaged.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that the drone was “hit by small arms,” adding that firefighting teams had put out a fire in which the planes were stationed. The airport is located in the Novgorod region between Moscow and St. Petersburg, hundreds of miles from the border with Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Air Force had previously said that the Russian Air Force had used Tu-22M3 long-range bombers based in Soltsy to launch Kh-22 cruise missiles on Ukrainian territory, and had increasingly used airborne and waterborne drones to attack within Russia’s borders. Recognized.
Moscow’s military is also looking to target air bases and military airports in Ukraine where Kiev houses its strategic aircraft.
Pictures quickly surfaced online over the weekend showing smoke from Soltsea Air Base Newsweek It is not possible to independently verify when or where photos posted to social media were taken. The Russian Ministry of Defense has been contacted for comment via email.
Some reports indicated in the aftermath of the drone strike that Russia had moved several of its Tu-22M3 supersonic strategic bombers from Novgorod to a base on the Arctic Kola Peninsula.
The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said on Sunday that the attack on Soltsy had put the Russian Defense Ministry under fire from the influential Russian military blogging community.
The ISW said that “bloggers” criticized the ministry for not keeping its aircraft in hangars, or using “even rudimentary protective structures” and nets to deflect quadcopter strikes.
Damaging or destroying two Russian Tu-22M3 strategic bombers “would not generate significant militarily significant effects in and of itself,” the think tank said in its latest assessment, but Russian bloggers’ reactions to the attack show the way such deep attacks support efforts. Ukrainian to shatter Russian morale.”
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