UK Ministry of Defense: Russian supersonic bomber “Backfire” destroyed

Every day since the escalation of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defense publishes its assessment of the ongoing conflict. On August 22, 2023, the issue is the destruction of a Russian supersonic bomber.

Via X, formerly Twitter, the UK Ministry of Defense writes: “On August 19, 2023, a Russian Long-Range Aircraft (LRA) Tu-22M3 BACKFIRE medium bomber was most likely destroyed at the Soltsky-2 air base in the Novgorod region, 650 km from the Ukrainian border. (…) The Russian Defense Ministry said that a copter-type unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was responsible for the attack.”

The UK Ministry of Defense classifies, “If true, this supports the assessment that some UAV attacks on Russian military targets are launched from Russian territory. Copter drones likely do not have the range to reach Soltsky-2 from outside Russia. Russia has frequently used BACKFIRE bombers to deploy the notoriously inaccurate AS-4 KITCHEN heavy anti-ship missiles against Ukraine. Early in the war, they also bombed Mariupol with unguided bombs.”

The UK Ministry of Defense concludes, “This is at least the third successful attack on LRA airfields and again raises questions about Russia’s ability to protect strategic sites deep inside the country.”

Image:, Vladimir Putin (2022-10-10), CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (image size modified)

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