Russia launches attacks on airbase housing UK-supplied missiles
Russia launches three waves of missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian airbase ‘housing stocks of UK-supplied Storm Shadow missiles’
- The missiles have allowed Ukraine to strike deeper into occupied land since May
Russia staged three waves of attacks this morning on a Ukrainian air base believed to house British- and French-supplied long-range Storm Shadow missiles.
A triple attack saw explosions in the vicinity of Starokonstantinov air base in Ukraine’s Khmelnytskyi region, according to reports.
The scale of any damage was not clear but Sergei Gamaly, the head of Ukraine’s regional military administration, said a ‘series of explosions’ had hit the area.
There were reports Russia had sent up seven Tu-95 nuclear-capable strategic bombers to unleash strikes with conventional Kh-101 missiles.
Russian sources said the Starokonstantinov base was used by Ukrainian Su-24 warplanes to fire Storm Shadows and French version SCALP-EGs at occupied lands.
File image of a Russian Tu-95 nuclear-capable strategic bomber, reported to have struck a Ukrainian air base early this morning
Video showed a Ukrainian Su-24 suspected to be carrying UK-supplied Storm Shadow missiles
The waves of attacks reportedly included advanced Russian Kinzhal – or Dagger – missiles, followed by an assault of Iranian-made Shahed drones and Kalibr missiles.
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The Tu-95 strategic bombers fired Kh-101 cruise missiles at the base, say reports.
Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported the targeting was at Ukraine’s stocks of the Storm Shadow missiles as well as the base.
The attack coincided with the Day of Air Force in Ukraine, and Russian reports say other air bases were attacked.
‘Particular attention was paid to Ukrainian airfields. so much that the remnants of their aviation had to hastily rush to the west at night,’ reported Russian Flightbomber Telegram channel.
‘The Russian Air Force congratulated the Ukrainian Air Force on Aviation Day, so to speak,’ said the channel.
Ukraine’s armed forces have benefitted from Britain and France sending long range Storm Shadow missiles, capable of hitting targets 350 miles away.
Defence analyst Dr James Bosbotinis said the Storm Shadow’s range allows it to hit ‘high-value hardened targets’ that ‘the adversary does not want to have attacked’ such as bunkers, as reported by Forces.net.
Ukraine also has its HIMARS rocket systems for defence, but these have a range of only 50 miles.
Kinzhal missiles reportedly fired at Starokonstantinov air base in Ukraine, August 6, 2023
File image shows another view of a Tu-95MS strategic missile carrier over the Sea of Japan
The supply of Storm Stream missiles to Ukraine was confirmed by the UK government – which holds an estimated 700 to 1,000 – in May 2023.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed the missiles had already been used by Ukraine on 18 May – but declined to give further details.
The £2.2million-per-unit missiles will allow Ukrainian forces to strike deeper into Russian-held territory amid a defiant counteroffensive.
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