A Tupolev Tu-22M3 bomber, one of the most powerful Russian aircraft, was destroyed in a drone attack on Saturday, 19, attributed to Ukraine. The information has been circulating since then, but without official confirmation.
Images of a Tu-22M3 amid smoke and fire were shared on social media, but the authenticity of the attack was only recognized on Tuesday, when the UK Ministry of Defense issued a statement about it.
Russia stated that the attack was carried out by an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with rotary wings, but the United Kingdom commented that if this is true, the aircraft would have departed from within Russian territory since this type of equipment would not have the autonomy to fly from the Ukraine.
The Tu-22M3 “Backfire” are supersonic bombers developed in the Cold War and which are being used by Russia to carry out attacks on Ukrainian installations with AS-4 Kitchen anti-ship missiles, “notoriously inaccurate” said the British MOD.
Bombers transferred away from Ukraine
This was the third success for Long Range Aviation (LRA), the division responsible for nuclear strikes and heavy bombers. In December, a drone hit another Tu-22 at Engels Air Base, but without causing major damage.
After the attack, the Russian Air Force deployed several Tu-95MS and Tu-22M3 bombers to the far east of the country earlier in the year.
According to reports, the Putin government would have decided to do the same with the aircraft based on Soltsy-2, transferring them to Olenya Air Base, in Murmansk, region on the coast of the Barents Sea, in the north of the country.
The Ukrainian government has not commented on the August 19 attack.