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UK Defense Ministry: Some drone strikes against Russian targets likely launched from within Russia

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 22, 2023 9:43 AM 2 min read
A Tu-22M3 strategic bomber destroyed at Soltsy-2 Airbase, Novgorod Oblast, Russia, Aug. 19, 2023. (Source: Twitter) 
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The recent successful drone strike against a Tu-22M3 bomber in Russia's Novgorod Oblast "adds weight to the assessment" that some attacks against Russian targets are launched from within Russian territory, the U.K. Defense Ministry said on Aug. 22.

The Russian strategic bomber, belonging to the class regularly used to launch airstrikes against Ukraine, has been destroyed on Aug. 19 at Soltsy-2 Airbase, 650 kilometers away from Ukraine's border.

According to Russia's Defense Ministry, the plane was destroyed by a copter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The U.K. intelligence report noted that such a vehicle would be unlikely to reach Soltsy-2 Airbase from outside Russia.

The Ukrainian news outlet New Voice (NV) reported on Aug. 21 that agents cooperating with Ukrainian military intelligence have destroyed or damaged five Russian aircraft.

The sources within the military intelligence reportedly told the outlet that these operations included the Aug. 19 attack against Soltsy-2 Airbase, destroying one bomber and damaging two others.

NV also reported that on the morning of Aug. 21, two more Russian bombers were damaged in Russia's Kaluga Oblast at the Shaykovka airfield as a result of a drone attack carried out by saboteurs working with the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Intelligence Directorate.

The U.K. Defense Ministry noted that the successful attacks within Russia's rear raise questions about Russia's ability to protect strategic locations deep inside the country.

Earlier today on Aug. 22, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin claimed that Russian air defense shot down two attack drones in yet another reported drone attack against the Russian capital in the past few weeks.

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