Russia sent 11 Tu-95s, 4 Tu-22s, Su-35 and Su-34 against Ukraine

On January 8, the Russian Aerospace Forces [VKS] launched a fresh missile attack. However, contrary to expectations of a renewed major assault on Kyiv, following previous strikes on December 29 and January 2, the attacks targeted various other cities across Ukraine. 

Worries in Japan! The Kremlin sent two 'Bear' bombers near Tokyo - Tu-95MS bombers
Photo by Sergei Fedichev

The Ukrainian Air Force reports stated that following the typical nighttime deployment of Shahed kamikaze drones from the south towards the regions of Mykolaiv and Odesa, nine Tu-95MS bombers took to the air from Olenya Airport in Murmansk region around 3 a.m. These aircraft are known to be equipped with Kh-101 and Kh-555 cruise missiles. 

The tally of Tu-95MS bombers later went up to 11. Additionally, at approximately 05:40, four Tu-22M3s were noted taking off from the same airbase, armed with Kh-22 or Kh-32 missiles.

Su-34s yesterday, Su-35s today, RuAF expects new Su-57s within days
Photo credit: UAC

Su-35 and Su-34 too 

Simultaneously at around 05:40, a Russian Su-35 or Su-34 launched guided missiles over Sumy Oblast heading towards Poltava Oblast and Kharkiv Oblast in the direction of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. It was later confirmed that these were Kh-31P anti-radar missiles. 

By 06:26, Ukraine’s airspace was invaded by cruise missiles, fired by the Tu-95MSs, via the Sumy Region. These missiles veered towards Western Regions, Dnieper and Vinnytsia after crossing the border of the Kyiv and Cherkasy Regions. 

Russian VKS will receive modernized Tu-22M3M long-range bombers
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Three more MiG-31s

At this time, the Kh-47 Kinzhal MiG-31K carrier aircraft also took off from Savasleyka Airport in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, heading towards the Dnieper. The first Tu-22M3 missile launch was reported at 06:58. 

Followed by, the launches of two more MiG-31Ks from the same airport, which released Kh-47 Kinzhal missiles, aligning with ballistic missile attacks on the Dnieper, Kryvyi Rih, Kharkiv, and Zaporozhye. 

In essence, the VKS enacted a combined assault, employing cruise missiles primarily aimed at the western regions, Kh-22 or Kh-32, Kh-47 Kinzhal, in combination with ballistic missiles directed towards the central and eastern regions of Ukraine.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On February 21, 2022, Russia stated that its border facility was attacked by Ukrainian forces, resulting in the deaths of five Ukrainian fighters. However, Ukraine quickly dismissed these allegations, labeling them as ‘false flags’.

F-35s 'force' MiG-31s to intercept 'threats' in the stratosphere
Photo credit: UAC

In a notable move on the same day, Russia announced it officially recognized the self-proclaimed areas of DPR and LPR. Interestingly, according to Russian President Putin, this recognition covered all the Ukrainian regions. Following this declaration, Putin sent a battalion of Russia’s military forces, tanks included, into these areas.

Fast forward to February 24, 2022, global headlines were dominated by a significant incident. Putin commanded a forceful military assault on Ukraine. Led by Russia’s impressive Armed Forces positioned at the Ukrainian border, this assault wasn’t spontaneous but a premeditated action. Despite the circumstances resembling a war, the Russian government refrains from using this term. They’d rather refer to it as a “special military operation”.

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