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Frontline report: Ukraine struck one of the Russian airfields used by strategic bombers Tu-22

Ukrainian drones reportedly struck a remote Russian strategic airfield, damaging aircraft. Several other explosions were reported at the Russian Science and Engineering Center upgrading military production. In turn, the Russian Iskander missile hit Ukraine’s city of Chernihiv while there was a gathering of drone manufacturers.
A smoke rising over Russian airfield in the Novgorod region. Screenshot from the video
Frontline report: Ukraine struck one of the Russian airfields used by strategic bombers Tu-22

On the morning of 19 August 2023, Ukrainians struck one of the most important Russian airfields that is used by strategic bombers Tu-22m3. The airfield is located in the Novgorod region, which is almost 700 km from the Ukrainian territories, and, according to Russian sources, it was targeted by Ukrainian drones.

Judging by the footage, at least one drone managed to hit the target and cause a fire. Some sources claimed that Ukrainians managed to destroy up to 2 Russian strategic bombers. Russian analysts once again criticized the fact that Russian forces do not even try to increase the security of their airfields.

On top of that, it was reported that a Ukrainian flag was raised in Novgorod, right in front of the Russian secret services building. Even though such an operation did not inflict Russians any losses, it amplified the news about the successful Ukrainian drone strike near this city and also diminished public trust in the ability of the Russian Federal Security Service to provide security.

Ukrainians also reportedly conducted a missile strike on Crimea on 19 August 2023. Russian sources reported that Ukrainians used one modified ballistic missile S-200. Russian media published footage of the crater left by the intercepted missile.

In previous strikes, Ukrainians used several missiles at once and usually combined them with a drone strike. The fact that this time Ukrainians used just one lonely missile indicates that they are testing the Russian air defense in the new region in preparation for hitting new areas on the peninsula. 

On 18 August, a huge fire broke out in one of the Russian Black Sea harbors in Novorossiysk. Russian sources reported that the fire rapidly spread and reached a square area of 1300 square meters. Some sources claimed that due to an unspecified accident, wooden pallets caught on fire and burned everything around them. There was reportedly no drone strike at the time, which gave rise to speculations about sabotage.

The same day, Ukrainians struck another Russian harbor in occupied territories, this time in Berdiansk, which is used for shipping a lot of equipment to the southern front.

Several days ago, Ukrainians also struck a science and engineering center “TEMP”, which is developing crucial technology for manufacturing weapons. This center’s goal is to reduce Russia’s reliance on imported technology and make the military-industrial complex as independent as possible. Local residents reported hearing explosions, although even Russian analysts are still uncertain and claim that it was either a drone strike or sabotage from inside.

Fire in the science and engineering center “TEMP”

Unfortunately, Russians conducted a similar strike on 19 August. They conducted a missile strike on Chernihiv and hit a theater with an Iskander missile. As it turned out, Ukrainians were making a drone show where different developers had to demonstrate developed drone technologies and possibly get attention from the defense ministry. As a result, there are more than 100 casualties, including at least 12 children.

Although it was an open event, Russian sources claimed it was a closed meeting and that Russians killed up to 60 Ukrainian and NATO officers. Regardless, the bottom line is it was not a smart idea to make such an event a public show, especially in the city that is located just 40 km from the border, as the air defense has little to no time to detect and intercept the missile.

Ukrainian fighters and commanders viciously critiqued the responsible person, who reportedly made this event public to generate publicity and promote her political career in the defense ministry. The event definitely gathered attention, so it seems like now her career is over.

Russian forces strike Chernihiv Drama Theater, causing 97 casualties (updated)

In the meantime, 200 Ukrainian troops just finished the 12-week training program on Abrams tanks in the United States. Since the tanks are not ready yet, the soldiers will continue staying and training and soon return to Ukraine with 31 Abrams tanks. Simultaneously, more Ukrainian troops are training on Leopard tanks in Germany. As of now, Ukraine is waiting to receive 100 Leopards.

President Zelenskyy also stated that Ukraine and Sweden plan to launch the production of Swedish armored fighting vehicles in Ukraine. Even though this is still at the planning stage, Ukraine is clearly trying to establish its own stable weapons production to decrease its reliance on external help. Apart from the production of armored fighting vehicles, Ukrainians are also developing plans for producing Leopard tanks. Recently the German manufacturer of armored vehicles, Rheinmetall, reached an agreement with Ukraine about jointly building a factory in Ukraine.

In our daily frontline report, we pair up with the military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what is happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war.

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