Ukrainian S-300 Shoots Down Russian Tu-22M3 Bomber Near Crimea

Ukrainian S-300 air defense system shoots down Russian Tu-22M3 heavy bomber near Crimean Peninsula. Ukrainian forces also destroy Russian command center and military targets in Crimea, escalating conflict.

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Nitish Verma
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Ukrainian S-300 Shoots Down Russian Tu-22M3 Bomber Near Crimea

Ukrainian S-300 Shoots Down Russian Tu-22M3 Bomber Near Crimea

In a significant development, a Ukrainian S-300 air defense missile system shot down a Russian Tu-22M3 heavy bomber near the Crimean Peninsula in May 2024. This marks the first time Ukrainian forces have downed a Tu-22M3 operating from a Russian base, amid ongoing Ukrainian attacks on Russian bases and a blockade of Crimea.

Why this matters: This incident highlights the escalating tensions and military capabilities in the region, with significant implications for global security and the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The ability of Ukrainian forces to target and down high-value Russian assets could shift the balance of power and influence the trajectory of the conflict.

The Tu-22M3 bomber belonged to Russia's 22nd Heavy Bombardment Aviation Division, which consists of the 121st Heavy Bomber Regiment based at Engels airfield in the Saratov region and the 52nd Heavy Bomber Regiment based at Shaykovka in the Kaluga region. Ukrainian intelligence has identifies, list, released personnel from this division who are directly involved in planning, organizing, and carrying out missile attacks on Ukraine's civilian infrastructure using X-22/X-32 and X-101/X-555/X-55 air-launched cruise missiles.

The Ukrainian Defense Intelligence Agency (DIU) emphasized, "We remind you that every war crime committed against Ukraine will be punished with justice." As of May 13, Ukrainian defense forces have successfully shot down 350 Russian aircraft and 325 helicopters since the start of the conflict in February 2022.

The downing of the Tu-22M3 bomber occurred amid escalating attacks by both Ukraine and Russia as the military conflict approaches its two-year mark. Ukraine has been conducting frequent strikes on Russian military targets in Crimea, which was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014. In recent days, Ukrainian forces shelled the eastern city of Pokrovsk, killing 11 people, including five children. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy responded, stating that Russia must face consequences for every such attack.

The Ukrainian Air Force also reported destroying a Russian command center at the Saky air base in occupied Crimea during an overnight drones, attack, main. Separate strikes were carried out on a Russian military command post and unit in Crimea, inflicting serious damage to Russia's defense system. Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk stated, "All targets have been shot down."

The Saky airfield had previously come under Ukrainian strikes in September 2023 and August 2022, causing damage to equipment and destroying military aircraft. As the conflict persists, both Russia and Ukraine are ramping up their drones, attack, main production. Russia plans to manufacture 32,500 drones annually by 2030, allocating 7.66 billion rubles for the project. Ukraine, in turn, aims to produce over 11,000 medium and long-range attack drones and 1 million FPV drones in 2024.

Key Takeaways

  • Ukraine's S-300 system shot down a Russian Tu-22M3 bomber near Crimea in May 2024.
  • This is the first time Ukraine has downed a Tu-22M3 from a Russian base.
  • Ukraine has shot down 350 Russian aircraft and 325 helicopters since Feb 2022.
  • Ukraine is ramping up drone production, aiming for 11,000+ in 2024.
  • Russia plans to manufacture 32,500 drones annually by 2030.