An historic success: What saved Ukraine from a massive missile strike on December 5
The drone strike against Russia’s strategic bombers saved Ukraine from a missile salvo of three planes.
From messages on social networks and the media, one can draw conclusions about the strikes on Russian strategic bomber forces at the Engels-1 and Diaghilev air bases, and how effective well-thought-out this Ukrainian military operation was.
1. The significance: For the first time in the war, a strategic operation of the Russian military was partially disrupted by a single drone attack. For the first time in history, strategic strike aircraft of a nuclear power were hit directly at their base. For the first time since the Second World War, combat aircraft penetrated into central Russia unnoticed and delivered a precise attack on the Russian military.
2. Results. Judging by the photo of the Tu-22M3 bomber aircraft at Diaghilev, it was this aircraft that was supposed to carry out an attack on Ukraine - the photo clearly shows a suspended Kh-22 cruise missile. Obviously, more than one such missile was supposed to be launched from this aircraft, but the Ukrainian Armed Forces struck ahead of schedule. The Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed the destruction of two more missile carriers, apparently Tu-95MSs, at Engels-1. There is no data on damage and losses, but all these aircraft were unable to participate in the missile attack on Ukraine, meaning that at a critical moment, a Russian salvo was reduced by at least 6-12 cruise missiles. Due to the planning involved in these sorties, it is impossible to quickly transfer missiles from one aircraft to another. That is, the drone strike was successful – the smaller number of missiles in the volley significantly increased the efficiency of our air defense.
3. The losses of the Russian Armed Forces: The Tu-22M3 was seriously damaged, rendered unfit for sorties in need of major repairs and replacement of its tail component. The destroyed vehicle pictured in published photos is an APA-80 mobile power station.
As a result of the attack on Diaghilev, the Russian Ministry of Defense was forced to admit the loss of aviation personnel preparing the strategic bomber for takeoff, confirming at least 3 dead and 4 wounded. Their names and surnames were made public and confirmed by posts on social networks.
4. Technological success. Diaghilev Air Base is located 500 km from Ukraine, while Engels-1 is approximately 700 km away. This is not the first case of an attack by drones: on October 7, an unknown drone attacked Tu-22M3 strategic bombers at the Shaykovka Air Base, 200 km from the Ukrainian border. There were reports of damage to two Tu-22M3s, but this could not be confirmed by satellite images. However, the Russians moved their Tu-22M3 away from the borders with Ukraine — to Diaghilev. According to the Russians, the Ukrainian strike used converted Tu-141 or Tu-143 jet unmanned scouts from the USSR, developed in the 70s and produced until 1989. The Russians have not yet released any evidence of this. It is obvious that the unknown drones have become domestically revamped weapons, which is a serious technological success.
5. The failure of Russian air defense. The unknown drones were not spotted and intercepted by the Russian air defense system. Judging by the damage to the aviation personnel near the plane, the Diaghilev Air Base received no warning about the attack. This indicates that the majority of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems and air defense radars are concentrated at the front and have suffered significant losses there, so the Russians do not have enough strength and are unable to build a dense defense even for their strategic facilities. It is especially impressive that no defensive perimeters have even been built at Russian strategic bomber bases, and no hangars or capons have been built to protect the bombers, with their planes being protected by tire barricades like we had on the Maidan (this miracle is clearly visible in the photo under the wing).
The Ukrainian Armed Forces struck in the morning in advance of the massive missile salvo that took place in the evening.
6. Exploration and application. It is obvious that Ukrainian and NATO intelligence received information in advance about preparations for a Russian missile attack from their strategic bombers – about the time and place of the launch, and the exact locations of the planes on which the cruise missiles were being loaded. Planning the approach route to the target and choosing the time in this operation turned out to be totally correct, which made it possible to achieve surprise and complete the mission. This positive experience by Ukrainian planners should be noted.
7. Will anyone be found guilty in the Russian Federation? Obviously not. After the 18-year-old pilot Mathias Rust flew unnoticed through the entire air defense system of the USSR in 1987 and landed on Red Square, about 200 generals and officers of the USSR Armed Forces were fired and convicted. Soviet Minister of Defense Sokolov, the commander of the air defense forces, and the commanders the commander of the negligent air defense army, corps, division, and brigade resigned. But Russia is not the USSR. Clan-mafia relations here are much deeper. Defense Minister Shoigu is a personal friend of the master of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. Moreover, the commander of the Air and Space Forces, which includes air defense forces, General Sergei Surovikin,is simultaneously the top commander for the war against Ukraine, and enjoys the support of Putin mafia leaders Kadyrov and Prigozhin. Therefore, there will be no punishments, although this drone strike was not the first.
8. Political and informational influence. Ukraine has shown the whole world that despite Russia's superiority by several orders of magnitude in its number of people and combat equipment, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are capable of finding improvised and unexpected methods of destroying the Russian invaders. The attack on the strategic bombers shows how vulnerable the Russian nuclear forces are, and how weakened the defense of the Russian Federation is, which is forced to throw all of its strength into seizing Ukraine. This is a great moral victory and a lesson for further actions.
Glory to the Ukrainian Armed Forces!
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