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A prized Russian bomber was blown up 400 miles behind enemy lines, suggesting the attack came from inside Russia: UK intel

  • Photos show a Russian Tupolev Tu-22M3 bomber destroyed at a base deep inside Russia, the BBC reported.

  • Russia said an aircraft was damaged by a copter-style drone, which tends to have limited range.

  • The UK MOD said the attack likely came from within Russia as the drone could not fly all the way from Ukraine.

A prized supersonic Russian bomber was blown up in an audacious attack over the weekend.

The attack was striking because the plane was being kept where Russia likely thought it would be safe — an air base some 400 miles behind Russia’s border with Ukraine.

Russia’s defence ministry said an attack by a Ukrainian copter-style drone damaged a plane at “a military airfield in the Novgorod region” on Saturday night, the BBC reported.

UK intelligence analysts concluded that the type of drone, paired with the location, meant the attack likely originated from hostile units within Russia itself.

The plane in question was a Tupolev Tu-22, the BBC said, citing photos of the plane on fire at Russia’s Soltsky-2 airbase in the Novgorod region, not far from St Petersburg.

The aircraft type has been used by frequently Russia to attack Ukrainian cities, the BBC and the UK Ministry of Defense said.

This includes firing anti-ship missiles at Ukraine and bombing the city of Mariupol, the MOD said.

The MOD said in its intelligence update on Tuesday that a Tupolev Tu-22 was  “highly likely destroyed” at the airbase .

It said that if Russia’s claim a copter-style copter-style uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) was responsible is true, it “adds weight to the assessment that some UAV attacks against Russian military targets are being launched from inside Russian territory.”

It said copter-style drones “are unlikely to have the range to reach Soltsky-2 from outside Russia.”

Ukrainian news outlet New Voice of Ukraine reported that agents cooperating with Ukrainian intelligence were responsible for the attack. It claimed that they destroyed two further aircraft as well as the Tu-22.

The incident raised questions about Russia’s ability to defend its aircraft even on home turf, the UK MOD said.

“This is at least the third successful attack on LRA airfields, again raising questions about Russia’s ability to protect strategic locations deep inside the country.”

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, a small number of attacks have taken place inside Russia. Ukraine has hinted at being responsible for some, and Russian separatists who oppose President Vladimir Putin have taken responsibility for others

Ukraine’s military has not commented on the attack.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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