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Ukraine says downs Russian bomber as 8 die in missile attack

April 19, 2024

Ukraine's military says its forces have destroyed a Tu-22M3 strategic bomber used to attack Ukrainian cities. This comes as Russian missile strikes in the Dnipropetrovsk region are reported to have killed eight people.

Russian Tu-22M3 bombers are seen here striking 'Islamic State' targets in Syria in 2017
Russian Tu-22M3 bombers are seen here striking 'Islamic State' targets in Syria in 2017Image: Russian Defense Ministry Press Service/AP/picture alliance

Ukraine said on Friday that its air defense had brought down a Russian strategic Tu-22M3 bomber for the first time since Russia's full-scale invasion began more than two years ago.

"For the first time, anti-aircraft missile units of the Air Force in cooperation with the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine destroyed a Tu-22M3 long-range strategic bomber, a carrier of Kh-22 cruise missiles used by Russian terrorists to attack peaceful Ukrainian cities," Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk said in a statement via Telegram messaging app.

The Russian Interfax news agency has cited the Russian Defense Ministry as reporting the crash of a Tu-22M3 bomber on Friday morning after what the ministry said was an apparent technical malfunction.

The ministry said the crash occurred in Russia's southern Stavropol region and that four pilots had ejected. One was later said by the regional governor to have died, and one was still being looked for.

The bomber was reportedly returning to base after carrying out a combat mission.

The Stavropol region is hundreds of kilometers from Ukrainian-controlled territory.

What is the latest in Ukraine?

Ukraine's Interior Ministry has meanwhile reported that large-scale Russian missile attacks on the central Dnipropetrovsk region overnight killed at least eight people and injured 21.

It said six people, including two children aged 6 and 8, died in the Synelnykivskyi area southeast of the regional capital, Dnipro, and two people died and 16 others were wounded in Dnipro itself.

The attacks also reportedly damaged residential buildings and railway infrastructure.   

Fire truck in front of badly damaged large building
Russian missile strikes caused severe damage in DniproImage: facebook.com/zelenskyy.official/posts

State-run Ukrainian railways company Ukrzaliznytsia said some of its workers had been injured, and that it had closed its Dnipro station and rerouted trains meant to pass through the city.

After the attack, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy once more called for international help in ensuring his country's air defense.

"Russia must be held accountable for its terror, and every missile, every Shahed [drone] must be shot down," Zelenskyy said.

"The world can guarantee this, and our partners have the necessary capabilities," he said.

 tj/rc (Reuters, AFP)