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  4. Russian strategic bomber goes into tailspin after Ukraine claims to shoot it down | WATCH

Russian strategic bomber goes into tailspin after Ukraine claims to shoot it down | WATCH

Ukraine claims it shot down the Russian Tu-22M3 bomber, while Moscow claims the plane crashed due to a malfunction after a combat mission. Previous Ukrainian claims of shooting down Russian warplanes have been denied by the Kremlin.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Moscow Published on: April 19, 2024 15:18 IST
Russian bomber crash, Ukraine
Image Source : X A purported video showing the Russian bomber moments before the crash in Stavropol.

Moscow: As the Russia-Ukraine war reaches a critical point after two years, Ukraine's air force on Friday claimed to shoot down a Russian Tu-22M3 strategic bomber with anti-aircraft missiles. However, Russian officials said the plane crashed into a sparsely populated area due to a malfunction after a combat mission, and none of the claims have been independently verified.

Previous Ukrainian claims of shooting down Russian warplanes during their more than two-year war have met with silence or denials from Moscow. Ukraine claimed that its air force and military intelligence cooperated to bring down the Tu-22M3 bomber with anti-aircraft missiles. The bomber is frequently used by Russia to fire Kh-22 cruise missiles at Ukrainian targets, and it can also carry nuclear warheads.

However, a video has flooded social media platforms reportedly showing footage of the attacked Russian bomber going into a tailspin in the sky before crashing into Ukraine. The aircraft was seen burning, violently swerving and crashing into a field outside Stavropol. 

Watch the video of the bomber crash

"The Ukrainian Air Force shot down the enemy Tu-22M3 strategic bomber, which russia used to attack Ukrainian cities. In addition, our warriors repelled another massive air attack and shot down 29 aerial targets: 2 Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles, 14 Shahed UAVs, 11 Kh-59/Kh-69 guided air missiles, 2 Kh-22 missiles," said Ukraine's Defence Ministry on X.

However, Russia's Defence Ministry said that the bomber crashed after completing a combat mission while returning to the airfield in the Stavropol region and there was no ammunition on board nor there was any damage on the ground, according to TASS news agency. One of the crew members of the plane was killed in the crash.

"We have received clarified data on the accident with the Russian military plane in the Krasnogvardeysky district. We deeply regret that the third crew member died. I express my condolences to his family and friends. The search for the fourth pilot continues," wrote Stavropol Governor Vladimir Vladimirov on his Telegram channel.

Previous Ukraine attempts to shoot down Russian jets

On Christmas Eve, Ukraine claimed to have shot down two Russian fighter jets. In January, the Ukrainian air force said it shot down a Russian early warning and control plane and a key command center aircraft that relays information to troops on the ground, in what appeared to be a significant blow for the Kremlin's forces. 

The next month, Ukraine said it knocked out another early warning and control plane. Also in January, Moscow accused Kyiv of shooting down a Russian military transport plane that was carrying Ukrainian POWs who were headed for a prisoner swap.

Meanwhile, Russian missiles struck cities in the central Dnipro region of Ukraine, killing eight people, including an 8-year-old girl, and injuring 25, local officials said. Russian forces conducted a combined aerial attack with the use of 22 missiles of various types and 14 Shahed drones during the night, the Ukrainian air force said.

(with AP inputs)

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