Ukrainian military intelligence reported to have been behind drone strikes on Russian airfields

The drone strikes that damaged five Russians bombers on Russian airfields in the country’s Nizhny Novgorod and Kaluga regions between Saturday and Monday were the work of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry’s intelligence department, according to reporting by the Ukrainians news outlet New Voice that cites a source in the department.

The report says that agents in Russia working for Ukrainian military intelligence launched a drone attack on the Nizhny Novgorod region airfield early on 19 August. The strike is believed to have destroyed a Tu-22M3 bomber and to have caused damage to two more jets.

On the morning of 21 August, further drone strikes damaged two more Russian bombers stationed at a Kaluga region airfield.

“These drone operations were coordinated by the defence intelligence unit and have inflicted sensitive military aviation losses on the enemy,” the source told New Voice, adding that Russia “no longer manufactures these planes”.

On Monday, Ukraine’s defence intelligence department confirmed the attack on a Nizhny Novgorod region air base that destroyed a Tu-22M3 bomber. Spokesperson Andriy Yusov said that two more planes had also been damaged, adding that the attack took place when the jets were preparing for a sortie.

Yusov also said that the drone strike on the Kaluga region air base resulted in one jet being damaged. Russian Telegram news channel Baza reported that the plane had not been in use, however. Kaluga region Governor Vladislav Shapsha confirmed on Monday that a drone had struck an area near the airfield but denied that any damage had been caused.

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