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UK intel: Russia’s Soltsy airbase likely attacked from Russian territory

On 19 August 2023, a Russian Tu-22M3 fighter was highly likely destroyed at Soltsky Airbase in Novgorod Oblast, 650 km away from Ukraine’s border.
burning Russian Tu-22M3 strategic bomber at the Soltsy airbase in Russia’s Novgorod Oblast after a Ukrainian attack on 19 August. Credit: Unian TG channel
UK intel: Russia’s Soltsy airbase likely attacked from Russian territory

According to the Russian Defence Ministry, a copter-style uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) was responsible for the attack on the Soltsky airbase.

“If true, this adds weight to the assessment that some UAV attacks against Russian military targets are being launched from inside Russian territory. Copter UAVs are unlikely to have the range to reach Soltsky-2 from outside Russia,” British intelligence wrote on its Twitter.

Russia has often employed Tu-22M3 bombers to deploy the notoriously inaccurate AS-4 Kitchen heavy anti-ship missiles against Ukraine. In the early stages of the war, they also subjected Mariupol to intense bombardment using unguided bombs, UK intel 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.” British intel concluded.

On the morning of 21 August, a kamikaze drone crashed onto the grounds of Shaykovka Airfield, situated in the Kirovsky District of Russia’s Kaluga Oblast. Initial reports suggest that the impact caused damage to an aircraft stationed at the airfield.

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