British intelligence claims that the drone attack on the airfield in Soltsy in the Novgorod region in Russia, where the Tu-22M3 strategic nuclear bomber was destroyed, could have been carried out from Russian territory.
This is stated in an intelligence review by the British Ministry of Defence.
Russian Tu-22M3 bomber was likely destroyed
According to the ministry, “it is unlikely that copter UAVs have sufficient range” to reach the Soltsy outside Russia.
“A Tu-22M3 BACKFIRE medium bomber of Russia’s Long Range Aviation was highly likely destroyed at Soltsky-2 Airbase in Novgorod Oblast, 650 km away from Ukraine’s border. This is at least the third successful attack on long-range airfields, again casting doubt on Russia’s ability to defend strategic sites inland,” the British intelligence service said.
Russia uses Tu-22M3 bombers to launch missiles at Ukraine
The review also recalls that Russia has frequently used Tu-22M3 bombers to launch inaccurate X-22 heavy anti-ship missiles at Ukraine and has conducted intensive Mariupol bombardment with unguided bombs.
On the morning of 19 August, the Ukrainian Forces attacked a military airfield in the Novgorod region of the Russian Federation with drones, damaging at least one aircraft.
Satellite images appeared from the Russian Soltsy-2 air base, where a Tu-22M3 strategic bomber was destroyed by a Ukrainian drone. The pictures also show that after the successful attack, the Russians took away the rest of the planes, likely to Olenya.
Dozen Russian aircraft were destroyed and damaged at air bases by Ukrainian attacks
Earlier, The Moscow Times independent media reported that Ukraine destroyed a strategic nuclear bomber of the Russian troops for the first time due to the drone attack on the airfield in the Novgorod region.
“The photo shows a Tu-22M3 that was completely burnt out. Russia has no engineering base left to build them again. Following Ukrainian attacks, over a dozen Russian aircraft and helicopters were destroyed and damaged at air bases in Belarus, Crimea, Ryazan, Engels, Novosibirsk and Pskov regions”, The Moscow Times writes.
The media published a photo of the Soltsy military airfield in the Novgorod region. The picture shows a wholly burnt Tu-22M3 strategic bomber.
The Russian defence ministry said that a fire broke out in the aircraft parking lot at the airfield, which was extinguished by fire crews. According to the ministry, “one aircraft was damaged”, and there were no casualties.