Russian Su-34s deployed 250 km behind the frontline were attacked

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Satellite imagery released on June 14 confirmed that the Ukrainian Armed Forces successfully carried out a significant drone strike on Morozovsk Airfield in Russia’s Rostov region, located roughly 250 kilometers behind the frontlines. 

Photo credit: Twitter

The, which took place on June 13, was validated the next day. Morozovsk Airfield has been a vital hub supporting Russian Air Force operations in Ukraine, serving as a forward base for Su-34 strike fighters that are pivotal to Russia’s air campaign. 

The full extent of the damage remains unclear, though reports suggest that no aircraft were destroyed. However, the apparent vulnerability of Russian airbases is likely to be a major concern for the Russian Armed Forces. Their air defense systems against drones seem to be limited, indicating that similar attacks could become more frequent in the future. 

Photo credit: Global Look Press

Ukraine is increasing its capabilities

Ukraine’s capability to strike Russian airbases and other key targets deep behind enemy lines has significantly increased, thanks to the delivery of American ATACMS ballistic missiles. The presence of Western specialists on the ground and access to NATO satellite networks and air surveillance data have also played a crucial role in facilitating these effective attacks. 

In mid-May, American ATACMS missiles were used to strike Russia’s Belbek Air Base on the contested Crimean Peninsula. This base, hosting the nation’s MiG-31 interceptors, saw two of these aircraft destroyed. 

Photo credit: Telegram

That same month witnessed an extraordinary drone attack on a Voronezh-DM early warning radar system at Armavir Radar Station in southwestern Russia’s Krasnodar Krai—a vital component of Russia’s defense against potential Western nuclear missile strikes.

Later in May, the United States eased restrictions on Ukrainian operations, allowing deeper strikes within Russia using American weaponry. In response to this increased threat, Russia forward deployed one of its new S-500 systems in the second week of June to bolster its ballistic missile defense capabilities. 

Russian attacks on the command post

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Ukraine’s heightened focus on drone and missile strikes comes as its forces face multiple setbacks and heavy casualties on the ground, enabling the Russian Army to seize significant territory from late 2022. 

The Ukrainian drone attack on Morosovsk Airport, targeting the Su-34s stationed there, may be seen as a direct response to the Russian airstrikes on June 12 this year. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, Su-34 aircraft were deployed to hit a command post of the Ukrainian Armed Forces within the Northern Military District zone. The Ministry specified that these attacks were aimed at the command post and enemy personnel within the “Vostok” troop group’s area of responsibility.

It’s worth mentioning that the strike was executed using high-explosive aviation bombs equipped with a universal planning and correction module [UMPC]. This technology allows for precision strikes while keeping the attacking aircraft out of the enemy’s air defense range. 

Photo credit: UAC

The Pecheneg Dam

On June 13, Russian media shared images showing a pontoon crossing over the Pecheneg Dam near the village of Stari Saltov in Kharkiv Oblast, which had been destroyed by a Russian Air Force Su-34 supersonic fighter-bomber strike. The moment of the missile attack on the Ukrainian border crossing was captured and posted by the authors of the “Iznanka” Telegram channel. 

“The Su-34 targeted the pontoon crossing over the Pecheneg Dam with a high-precision Kh-38MLE missile,” the authors of the channel reported Preliminary. data suggests that several sections of the pontoon crossing submerged as a result of the strike. The footage shows two Ukrainian military trucks approaching the crossing right as the missile hit.

Photo credit: Twitter

According to the LOSTARMOR Telegram channel, this isn’t the first time the bridge in the Stari Saltov area across the Seversky Donets has been targeted. Initially destroyed early in the special operation, the Russian Aerospace Forces had already taken out a pontoon crossing built by Ukrainian forces over the Pecheneg Dam in May 2022, though it was later rebuilt by Ukrainian engineering troops. 

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’.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

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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