A unit of Ukrainian military intelligence (HUR) covered over 600 kilometers on foot through enemy territory before destroying or damaging three Tu-22M3 strategic bombers in Russia in August 2023. The group of saboteurs was defeated by the Russians while returning to Ukraine, HUR revealed.
The group of saboteurs, who in August 2023 carried out an attack at the Soltsy-2 military airport in the Novgorod Oblast, resulting in the first confirmed destruction of a Russian strategic bomber, had previously covered 600 km of enemy territory on foot, according to information provided by the Ukrainian military intelligence branch (HUR).
The goal of the August mission, led by Colonel Oleh Babiy, was to stop Russian airstrikes on civilian targets in Ukraine. The operation was a success because it disrupted enemy plans for further air attacks and completely disrupted the operation of military airports and long-range air bases in Russia, we read on the HUR website.
The Ukrainian unit covered hundreds of kilometers
The Ukrainian service added that thanks to this mission they also managed to cause panic in the enemy army and in Russian society. It has been proven that effective attacks on important military targets are also possible deep inside the aggressor’s country. Unfortunately, this operation turned out to be the last combat mission of Colonel Babija and his unit. While returning to Ukraine, the saboteurs were ambushed by Russians. Babij was killed on August 30 when he tried to cover the retreat of his comrades in arms, military intelligence revealed. HUR reported that the officer was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine. As it was added, Babij is orphaned by two small children.
We know well the people who, on August 19 and 21, destroyed two enemy strategic bombers and damaged two more such machines at the Soltsy-2 airfield and in Shajkovka in the Kaluga region. The contractors of these actions “simply carried out specific tasks on the territory of Russia.” As a result of effective attacks, the total number of Tu-22s at Russians’ disposal decreased from 31 to 27 – informed the head of HUR, General Kyrylo Budanov, immediately after the operation.
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