1st Time In Ukraine War: Heavyweight Tu-22m3 Bombers From Russia Attack Kiev From Belarusian Airspace
- According to reports, President Putin assured Lukashenko that any Ukrainian strike on Belarusian soil would be viewed as an attack on Russia.
- The US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said, "His first request in the presentation he made was for more air defence systems.
The Air Force Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces posted a statement on Facebook stating that the enemy had used long-range Tu-22M3 bombers against Ukraine for the first time from Belarusian territory.
Six Tu-22M3 bombers were utilised, according to Ukrainian intelligence, and they fired 12 X-22 cruise missiles towards the Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Sumy districts.
The Ukrainian Intelligence further claimed that the bombers took off from Shaykovka Airport in the Russian Federation’s Kaluga region before passing via the Kaluga and Smolensk regions and entering Belarusian airspace.
The bombers flew back to Russia’s Shaykovka Airport after launching their weapons.
The Air Force Command reported the use of ground-to-ground missiles from the Iskander and Tochka-U missile systems, as well as the sea-based Caliber cruise missiles against targets in western Ukraine and Oniks missiles from a Bastion missile system at the Southern Front, in addition to X-22 missiles from Tu-22M3 aircraft.
The X-22, Onyx, and Iskander missiles, according to Air Force Command, are very challenging for the Ukrainian Air Forces to intercept because of their high speeds (Onyx and X-22 missiles go at over 3,000 kmph, while Iskander missiles follow a ballistic trajectory).
According to the Ukrainian Air Force Command, “their (the X-22, Onyx, and Iskander missiles) destruction is an unusual and tough challenge for the air defence facilities available in Ukraine.”
According to estimates given by journalist Olga Tokaruk, Russia launched about 60 missiles against Ukraine, the most of which were launched from Belarus and were aimed at the areas of Kyiv, Lviv, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Khmelnytskyi, Dnipro, Mykolayiv, and Kharkiv.
Kremlin Trying To Draw Belarus Into War
The most recent strike is connected to “the Kremlin’s efforts to drag Belarus into the war in Ukraine as a direct participant,” according to Ukrainian intelligence.
The Ukrainian Intelligence had also claimed that Russia had sent sabotage units to the Belarusian city of Mozyr, which is close to the Ukrainian border, to carry out a series of operations intended at civilian facilities a day prior to these strikes.
On June 24, Ukrainian Intelligence tweeted, “Kremlin plots to blow up residential buildings in Mozyr to involve Belarus in the fight against Ukraine.”
Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, suggested in February that his country’s army would participate in the fighting within Ukraine.
“I reiterate: there are no US troops. But they would if it is required, if it is required for Belarus and Russia, Lukashenko said, according to remarks carried by the official news agency Belta.
According to reports, President Putin assured Lukashenko that any Ukrainian strike on Belarusian soil would be viewed as an attack on Russia.
In February, Lukashenko paraphrased Putin as saying, “I promise you that any attack on or even a single step across the border into the territory of Belarus would mean that they attack Russia.”
US Pledges To Send NASAMS Air Defense Systems
The G7 Summit, where the war in Ukraine was at the top of the leaders’ agenda, was where President Zelensky was scheduled to speak before the missile attacks on Kiev.
According to a statement from his office, Zelensky requested the G7 leaders for more advanced air defence systems that would provide the populace with the bare minimum of security as Russia increased its missile attacks.
The US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said, “His first request in the presentation he made was for more air defence systems.
The US has agreed to provide Ukraine access to the NASAMS medium-to-long-range surface-to-air missile defence system, according to the most recent sources. NASAMS was created by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace and Raytheon.
The US uses NASAMs to safeguard the delicate airspace surrounding the White House and US Capitol in Washington, making it significant. According to reports, the missile system can reach targets located more than 100 miles (approximately 161 kilometres) away.
The first use of the surface-launched AIM-120 AMRAAM was NASAMs (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile).
While the most recent system variant, NASAMS 3, may fire the AMRAAM-ER (for extended range) missile, the shorter-range AIM-9X Sidewinder missile with infrared guidance and the pan-European IRIS-T SLS short-range missile are primarily intended to counter cruise missiles.
Which variant and how many systems will be delivered to Ukraine are not yet known. A source informed CNN that the Ukrainian soldiers would probably need to be trained on the devices, but the delivery schedule for the NASAMS to Ukraine is yet uncertain.