First Russian strategic Tu-22M3 bomber downed by Ukrainian forces

Ukrainian Air Force shot down Russian Tu-22M3 long-range supersonic strategic bomber
Ukrainian Air Force shot down Russian Tu-22M3 long-range supersonic strategic bomber

The first downing of a Russian Tu-22M3 long-range supersonic strategic bomber, a carrier of Kh-22 cruise missiles, was reported by Ukraine’s Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk on April 19.

This operation, conducted in collaboration with Ukraine's Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR), also saw the interception of two Russian Kh-22 missiles for the first time.

Ukrainian forces managed to intercept a total of 29 out of 36 air targets launched by Russia, including both Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles fired from Tu-95 MS strategic aircraft, all 14 Shaheed one-way attack drones, and eleven out of twelve Kh-59/Kh-69 guided missiles. However, only two of the six Kh-22 cruise missiles launched from the downed Tu-22M3 bombers were intercepted.

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The Russians also fired two Iskander-K cruise missiles, which were not intercepted by the air defenses.

Oleshchuk also stressed the urgency of providing more air defense systems and missiles to protect the frontline areas.

Earlier in the day, the Russian Defense Ministry reported the downing of a Tu-22M3 long-range bomber in the Krasnogvardeisky district of Russia's Stavropol Krai as it returned to the airfield after completing a "combat mission."

According to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the bomber was one of the Russian aircraft used to attack the country overnight. The pilots managed to eject, but one of them reportedly died.

Read also: Ukrainian Air Force attacks Russian planes from a distance of more than 150 km

At least eight people, including three children, were killed and twenty-five others injured in an early morning Russian missile attack on the administrative center of Dnipro, the regional administration reported on April 19.

A five-story building in the city center was partially destroyed in the Russian attack, and people may be trapped under the rubble, regional Governor Serhiy Lysak said, adding that the enemy fired nine rockets in the morning, and two more overnight.

Rescue efforts are underway.

Two infrastructure objects were also damaged in the attack in Dnipro.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine