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Will Tu-22M3 takedown reduce attacks on Ukraine: Expert's opinion

Will Tu-22M3 takedown reduce attacks on Ukraine: Expert's opinion Photo: Ukraine managed to destroy Russian Tu-22M3 bomber for the first time (

The downing of the Russian Tu-22M3 bomber indicates an expansion of Ukraine's defense capabilities, enabling them to reach further and threaten enemy strategic aviation.

Olexandr Musiienko, Head of the Сenter of Military Law Researches, explained in a comment to RBC-Ukraine that recent strikes on airports in Dzhankoy, Russian radars in Mordovia and Bryansk regions, and now the downing of the Tu-22M3 aircraft demonstrate Ukraine's increasing capabilities.


Significance of Tu-22M3 destruction

According to the expert, recent strikes on the airfield in Dzhankoy, Russian radars in Mordovia and Bryansk region, and now the downing of the Tu-22M3 aircraft demonstrate that Ukraine is enhancing and expanding its capabilities.

"This all speaks to the fact that our capabilities are increasing. As a result, we can reach much further and pose a threat not only in the air but also on the ground. This means that the airfield in Olenya is no longer an unreachable target for Ukrainian drones, which I believe will be utilized," explained Musiienko.

In his view, all of this is part of a systematic effort to counter strategic aviation and prevent Russian Tu aircraft from approaching Ukraine.

"We're talking about the Tu-22M3. While the Tu-95s, unfortunately, can still be used, they are still far away... But for the Tu-95s, the decision will be to strike them precisely at the airfields," Musiienko believes.

First shootdowns of Kh-22 missiles

The expert also emphasizes that Ukraine's first successful interceptions of Kh-22 missiles indicate that despite the lack of air defense systems, our defenders are taking measures to shoot down such targets within existing capabilities.

"Currently, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are utilizing various means, including countermeasures against electronic warfare systems, drones, and individual missiles, particularly Kh-22. This represents a comprehensive solution from our partners and Ukraine, which is creating additional capabilities to neutralize these missiles. So while we await support and more systems from our allies, we are leveraging our existing capabilities," says Musiienko.

Expectations for decreased missile attacks

In response to whether Ukrainians should expect a reduction in mass missile attacks following the downing of the enemy Tu-22M3 and Kh-22 missiles, the expert responded that it is more appropriate to discuss taking action to minimize such attacks.

"I believe everything will be done to ensure that the consequences of these mass attacks are not as significant. We will work to minimize them. This will be done for sure. Unfortunately, we cannot fully protect ourselves from such attacks yet, but the corresponding work is ongoing, " said Musiienko.


A military Tu-22M3 aircraft was shot down today in the skies over Stavropol Krai, Russia. It was from this aircraft that occupiers attacked Ukrainian cities, including Dnipro and the surrounding area, overnight.

According to sources in the Ukrainian Defense Forces reported by RBC-Ukraine, the Russian aircraft was brought down using a modified S-200 surface-to-air missile system from 300 km away from Ukraine (officially stated that it was destroyed using the same means that previously shot down an A-50 radar detection aircraft).

After the destruction, the second aircraft was forced to turn back, meaning that several missiles were not launched toward our country.

The Air Force and the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine officially confirmed the aircraft's destruction. They stated that it was a special operation conducted by the main intelligence agency in coordination with the Air Force.

Intelligence officers noted that this was the first successful destruction of a strategic bomber in the air during Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yevlash, called it a "vendetta for the attack on peaceful cities" and specified that the air defense forces successfully intercepted two Kh-22 missiles launched by this bomber.

For more details on this bomber and the missiles, read our article "Ukraine eliminates Tu-22M3 aircraft and Kh-22 missiles: Insights and details."