Ukraine launched a spectacular overnight missile strike inside Russia today at a military airfield where Vladimir Putin’s supersonic Tu-22M3 strategic bombers are based.
Footage shows a suspected modified S-200 missile in a giant explosion in darkness at or near the Shaykovka military airfield, southwest of Moscow.
Russia claims to have shot down an S-200 missile. There is so far no independent information on damage from the attack.
The bombardment came during what may have been the busiest night of Ukrainian attacks on Russia and Russian-held territory during the war.
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 Tula region, south of the capital, which borders Kaluga region amid suspected drone attacks.
Footage shows a suspected modified S-200 missile in a giant explosion in darkness at or near the Shaykovka military airfield, southwest of Moscow
Aerial view of Shaykovka air base, Kaluga region, Russia
Russian air defences in action in Tula region, south of Moscow, in the early hours of Friday, 25 August
Separately, a record 42 Ukrainian drones were aimed at 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 which raised a Ukrainian flag on annexed Crimea after an attack on 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.
Vladimir Putin’s supersonic Tu-22M3 strategic bombers are based at the airfield southwest of Moscow
Russia claims to have shot down an S-200 missile. There is so far no independent information on damage from the 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 this week claimed earlier attacks on Shaykovka and Soltsy airbase in Novgorod region led to two supersonic Tu-22M3 strategic bombers being destroyed.
Russian air defences were also in action in Tula region, south of the capital, which borders Kaluga region amid suspected drone attacks
This left a total of 27 in service, according to Ukrainian military intelligence chief Budanov.
Andriy Yusov, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence said: ‘At least one plane is damaged.
‘As in most cases, the Russian regime is trying to hide the true extent of losses and damage.’
Kyiv’s attacks on Shaykovka have likely been in retaliation to a Russian launch of four Kh-22 air cruise missiles towards Ukraine, which it said took place on August 15.
Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, chief of Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense
The Tupolev Tu-22M3 was reportedly deployed for the first time by Putin’s forces during the decimation of Mariupol (file image)
Russia has utilised the base to launch its long-range bombers to strike targets since the beginning of the war.
The Tupolev Tu-22M3 was reportedly deployed for the first time by Putin’s forces during the decimation of Mariupol.
A devastating two-month siege laid waste to the city last year, killing thousands of civilians and damaging or destroying roughly 90 per cent of its buildings, before Moscow claimed to have annexed it.
The Tupolev Tu-22M3 bombers, which took part in a merciless ‘carpet-bombing’ campaign in Mariupol, have been described as a ‘staple’ of Russian airpower, and just over 60 are now said to be in operation.
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