Ukraine Claims First-Ever Shootdown Of Russian Strategic Bomber, Moscow Denies

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Apr 20, 2024 - 11:35 AM

Another Russian military aircraft has fallen from the sky in a fiery wreck, social media video widely circulating on Friday shows. But precisely how it happened is being hotly disputed.

Ukraine is now touting that for the first time ever, its forces have downed a Russian long-range bomber which was actively engaged in attacks on Ukrainian cities. "For the first time, anti-aircraft missile units of the air force in cooperation with the defense intelligence of Ukraine destroyed a Tu-22M3 long-range strategic bomber," Ukraine's military announced.

"This was the plane that bombed Dnipro and Kryvyi Rih. We took our revenge for our cities and civilians," air force spokesperson Illya Yevlash told international press, as cited in AFP.

However, Russia's military is disputing claims by Ukraine officials, instead saying a "technical malfunction" led to the crash which resulted in at least one crew member killed. 

A statement said further, "The pilots ejected, 3 crew members were evacuated by the search and rescue team, and the search for one pilot is currently underway." The military further said, "There was no ammunition on board; the plane crashed in a deserted area."

EuroNews has said it can't verify which side's version of events is true:

The Ukrainian report said military intelligence cooperated with the air force to bring down the Tu-22M3 bomber with anti-aircraft missiles

Russia commonly uses the bomber - which can also carry nuclear warheads - to fire Kh-22 cruise missiles at Ukrainian targets from inside its airspace.

Watch confirmed video of the strategic bomber falling quickly while engulfed in flames:

Russian authorities have indicated that the plane went down in the Stavropol region some 400km from eastern Crimeaa.

In January, Moscow said that Ukrainian forces shot down a Russian military transport plane that was carrying Ukrainian POWs. In February, Ukraine said it shot down two Russian A-50 spy planes within a matter of weeks.

Images show a large debris field in the Friday crash aftermath...

Via Telegram

Several Russian aircraft of various types have been downed throughout the more than two-year long war, but Friday marks the first time a Tu-22M3 bomber has been reported downed.