British intelligence: Over 100 Russian combat aircraft lost to Ukrainian defenses


Russia may have lost at least 100 fixed-wing combat aircraft since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the British Defense Ministry’s intelligence reported on April 20, following the first downing of a Tu-22M3 BACKFIRE C strategic long-range bomber by the Ukrainian air defenses.

On April 19, the Ukrainian Air Forces and the Maine Intelligence Directorate (HUR) announced that they had shot down one of the Russian bombers, which was likely targeting the southern regions of the country. A number of video reports circulating online showed a single BACKFIRE losing control in mid-air and subsequently crashing into a field.

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The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that a bomber had crashed and that a Search and Rescue Mission was underway, but did not admit to the shoot-down. However, it is almost certain that reports of an S-200 missile being fired are accurate and that it was another successful Ukrainian action against the Russian Air Force. The same air defense system was likely used to shoot down a Russian A-50 AWACS long-range radar and control aircraft on Feb. 23.

On April 19, Ukraine’s intel chief Kyrylo Budanov said that the Russian Tu-22M strategic bomber had been intercepted using anti-air equipment engineered "from scratch from old components."

“We use different systems; this time we've used one that we created from scratch out of old components,” he said.

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“There's been some modification. The engineers have worked hard, trust me.”

A national security source told NV that the bomber was shot down by a modified Soviet-era S-200 air defense system from about 300 km away. At least one Russian crew member was killed.

According to the Ukrainian General Staff's April 20 report, a total of 325 enemy helicopters and 348 planes have been destroyed since Russia's full-scale aggression.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine