NewsUkrainian drones hit Russia, down strategic bomber in a historic defense

Ukrainian drones hit Russia, down strategic bomber in a historic defense

The war in Ukraine. Media report that Ukraine is attacking targets located in Russia.
The war in Ukraine. Media report that Ukraine is attacking targets located in Russia.
Images source: © Getty Images | LIBKOS

9:18 AM EDT, April 20, 2024

Sources within the Ukrainian security and military services have verified the execution of drone strikes on Russian territory, as reported by the news outlet Ukrainska Pravda (pravda.com.ua). Concurrently, the British Ministry of Defense has noted that Ukrainian air defenses have, for the first time, succeeded in downing a Russian strategic bomber.

Ukrianska Pravda has highlighted that the attacks, utilizing dozens of drones, unfolded between Friday night and Saturday morning. Insiders at The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine (HUR) and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) confirmed this detail.

"Ukrainian aircraft-type UAVs attacked the territory of Russia on the night of 19-20 April as part of a joint operation by Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (DIU), the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU), and the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," according to Ukrainska Pravda.

Conflict in Ukraine: Ukrainian forces target Russia

Drones targeted Belgorod, Bryansk, Kursk, Tula, Smolensk, Ryazan, Kaluga, and Moscow, focusing primarily on energy infrastructure supporting the Russian military's armaments production.

According to Pravda's sources, targets hit included at least three power stations and a fuel depot.

Meanwhile, Russia has stated it "shot down or intercepted" 50 Ukrainian drones, acknowledging damage to its energy infrastructure in the Bryansk and Kaluga regions and reporting a fuel tank fire in the Smolensk area.

Russian bomber reportedly downed by Ukraine

The British Ministry of Defense, in its daily intelligence briefing, has revealed new fronts in the conflict. Among these, it noted that Russia had employed its Tu-22M3 strategic bombers (NATO designation Backfire C) in an offensive against southern Ukraine on Friday. In response, Ukrainian defense forces are reported to have destroyed one such bomber.

Online footage captures the moment a Tu-22M3 loses control and plummets.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the crash of the Tu-22M3, stating that a search and rescue operation was in progress but stopped short of acknowledging the aircraft was shot down.

Credible accounts suggest the use of an S-200 missile (NATO code SA-5) in the bomber’s takedown, marking yet another strategic win for Ukraine against Russian air forces. The Ministry of Defense hinted that this was likely the same missile system that took down the Russian A-50 plane (NATO code Mainstay) on February 23, 2024.

The report states that this incident marks the inaugural shootdown of a strategic bomber by Ukrainian air defenses, which strongly indicates that Russia's air losses now total at least 100 aircraft.

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