Ukraine launched a spectacular overnight missile strike inside Russia at a military airfield where Vladimir Putin’s supersonic Tu-22M3 strategic bombers are based.
Moscow’s aerial defences were working overtime as missiles and kamikaze drones flew towards key locations in the capital city. Kyiv is alleged to have fired a fearsome modified S-200 missile to blitz Putin’s prized bombers based at the Shaykovka military airfield.
A giant explosion, believed to be at or near the airstrip that is situated southwest of Moscow, erupted in the darkness last night.
There is so far no independent information on damage from the attack on perhaps the war’s busiest night of Ukrainian attacks on Russian and Russian-held territory.
Two major Moscow international airports – Vnukovo and Domodedovo – were closed, leading to significant disruption for incoming and outgoing planes. Russian air defences were also in action in the Tula region, south of the capital, which borders Kaluga amid suspected drone attacks.
Separately, a record 42 Ukrainian drones were aimed at the annexed Black Sea peninsula Crimea, according to Russian sources.
Nine were shot down, and 33 suppressed by electronic warfare means, said the Russian defence ministry. There was no independent evidence on the consequences of the mass drone attack.
It followed an audacious special forces raid where Ukrainian troops raised their national flag in Crimea after attacking Russian positions.
“An entire division was destroyed on Cape Tarkhankut in temporarily occupied Crimea,” said Ukraine’s Intelligence Chief Kyrylo Budanov. “Now, it has stopped its work.” Thirty Russian troops were “eliminated” and four boats damaged.
The Shaykovka military airfield strike followed Ukrainian claims to have destroyed at least two Tu-22M3 nuclear-capable bombers in recent days prior to the overnight attack.
The Russian defence ministry said: “An attempt by the Kyiv regime to carry out terrorist attacks against civilian targets on the territory of the Russian Federation with a missile of the upgraded S-200 air defence system has been foiled.”
The missile was “detected and destroyed by air defence systems over the territory of Kaluga region.”
Ukraine earlier this week claimed earlier attacks on Shaykovka and Soltsy airbase in Novgorod region led to two supersonic Tu-22M3 strategic bombers being destroyed. This left a total of 27 in service, according to Ukrainian military intelligence chief Budanov.
Shocking pictures show one of Putin’s prized Tu-22s engulfed in flames following the drone attack. New footage shows the devastating aftermath of the daring kamikaze strike on Soltsy airbase deep inside Russia.
Photos taken from the site in the Novgorod region appear to show the long-range supersonic missile carrier burning in a fireball.
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