11 Su-24 tactical bombers armed with Storm Shadow attacked Crimea

The Russian think tank, Rybar, reported that Ukrainian forces enacted another missile strike on Crimea just a few hours ago. The strike involved a team of 11 Su-24M Bombers taking off from the Starokostyantyniv airfield, with five acting as carriers for Storm Shadow/SCALP cruise missiles. 

11 Su-24 bombers armed with Storm Shadow/SCALP attacked Crimea
Photo credit: Twitter

The aircraft diverged upon reaching the border of Odesa and Mykolaiv regions. Nine remained within the area itself while two headed south to Ochakiv. Around noon, eight Storm Shadows were launched, aimed at Crimea. 

Interestingly, Medvedi Private Military Company’s reconnaissance groups noted that two of the Su-24Ms, while flying low at roughly 40 meters above the water, carried out launches over the Black Sea. These launches were preceded by Ukrainian planes releasing three decoy missiles, AGM-160 MALDs, in an intended bid to confound air defense. 

Russian Foxhound did risky radar look-and-shoot but struck Su-24
Photo credit: Pinterst

Crews of the Pantsir-S1 air defense from the 31st Air Force and Air Defense Division were able to intercept five of the inbound cruise missiles over Cape Tarkhankut and the Belbek airfield. In the Verkhnesadovoye area, three Storm Shadows impacted, indicating a former military facility near the village was likely the intended target. 

A change in strategy

Intriguingly, a few hours before the attack, a reconnaissance drone of an unidentified type was deployed from Kherson. The drone performed a recce route around Cape Tarkhankut before establishing a patrol area west of Kacha. This drone was also likely to be taken down by the air defense system. 

This recent assault shows a minor but noticeable shift in the strategy of employing cruise missiles. In contrast to previous attacks that usually took place at night or early morning, this one occurred in the daylight.

Russian air defense has shot down 10+ Storm Shadow and missed 6
Photo credit: Twitter

Further, the unusually low-altitude flight pattern of the bombers showcases an ongoing effort by Ukrainian crews to exploit potential weaknesses in enemy air defense detection systems.

Russia attacked Dnipropetrovsk near Dnipropetrovsk

Previously mentioned on the Twitter handle @Sprinter99800 [Sprinter], a Russian-operated Lancet kamikaze drone reportedly journeyed over 70 km to a military airfield in Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk sector. The drone allegedly damaged a MiG-29 stationed there. Video evidence of this drone attack has been made available by Sprinter. 

The provided video seemingly validates that the Lancet drone was indeed directed towards an immobile Ukrainian aircraft. An explosion can be seen occurring towards the front end of the plane’s structure. However, due to obscuring smoke and the subsequent halt in video recording, it’s uncertain whether the drone caused any substantial damage to the MiG-29, and the nature of these damages if any, remains undetermined. 

While Sprinter’s declaration that the closest Russian outpost was around 70 km from the airfield might hold some truth, it does not unequivocally establish that the Russian Lancet covered this distance or even further. 

Russian Lancet flew 70 km and damaged a Ukrainian MiG-29 fighter
Video screenshot

The Russian Lancet drone appears to be among the limited number of Russian gadgets demonstrating effectiveness in Russia’s specialized military operation [a phrase Moscow employs in place of the conflict in Ukraine]. Since the year’s commencement, there has been a surge in the usage of the Lancet by Russian armed forces, and the drone is evidently yielding positive results.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On the 21st of February, 2022, allegations emerged from Russia, asserting that a border facility under the jurisdiction of their Federal Security Service [FSB] had been decimated due to an aggressive shelling operation purportedly executed by Ukrainian forces. According to the Russian authorities, this unexpected and violent incursion resulted in the unfortunate demise of five Ukrainian combatants.

Ukraine, however, vehemently repudiated involvement in both occurrences, categorizing them as nothing more than deceptive maneuvers, or ‘false flags’.

Russia: We accessed all sensors, IR/GPS and avionics of Storm Shadow
Photo credit: Video Screenshot

In a significant development on the very day, the Russian government extended formal recognition to the self-proclaimed entities of DPR and LPR. This recognition, as per Putin, was not confined merely to the territories under their de-facto control, but encompassed the entire Ukrainian Oblasts. In an ensuing move, Putin commanded the mobilization of Russian military forces, inclusive of tanks, into the said regions.

Aggressive invasion

In a significant geopolitical development on the 24th of February, 2022, President Vladimir Putin of Russia commanded an aggressive military invasion into Ukraine. This act of aggression was executed by Russia’s formidable Armed Forces, which had been strategically amassed along the Ukrainian border in a show of ominous intent. 

This invasion was not a random act of violence, but a meticulously planned operation, characterized by precise airstrikes that targeted key military infrastructures within the Ukrainian territory. Concurrently, an armored division of tanks rolled in from the Belarusian frontier, further intensifying the scale and impact of the offensive.

Storm Shadow deep strike missile on Ukrainian supersonic Fencer
Photo credit: Flickr

The Russian administration thus far has refrained from acknowledging the ongoing incursion into Ukraine as a “war”. This, despite the fact that the unfolding events bear all the hallmarks of a military conflict. Instead, the Kremlin insists on terming it a “special military operation”.


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