Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Ukrainian strikes destroy Russian MiG-31s in Crimea

New satellite imagery confirms the loss of two Russian Aerospace Force MiG-31 interceptors and other significant damage at Belbek airfield following recent Ukrainian strikes.

High-quality images from commercial provider Maxar have revealed the extent of the damage, including two MiG-31s, a Su-27, and a MiG-29 fighter aircraft.

The attack’s aftermath shows the charred remains of an adjacent fuel farm and damage to a nearby structure. Scorching is visible on the apron and access roads, indicating the intensity of the strikes. Additionally, an S-400 air defense system, including its radar, was completely destroyed. This destruction likely facilitated a subsequent drone attack on Sevastopol.

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An intelligence source told Reuters that Ukraine targeted a power substation in Crimea, an oil depot, a railway station in Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, and an oil refinery in Tuapse overnight on May 16. These strikes highlight Ukraine’s increasing use of long-range drones and missiles to hit strategic targets far from the front lines, including in Crimea, which Russian troops seized and annexed in 2014.

The loss of the MiG-31s and the S-400 system is a notable setback for Russian military capabilities in the region. The MiG-31, a supersonic interceptor, plays a critical role in Russia’s air defense over the Black Sea region, while the S-400 is one of the most advanced air defense systems in the world.

Ukraine’s ability to conduct such strikes demonstrates a growing capacity to disrupt Russian military assets and infrastructure, leveraging long-range precision strikes to target high-value assets. The recent attacks also underscore the ongoing strategic contest over Crimea and the broader Black Sea region, with Ukraine continuing to press its offensive despite the risks.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more

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