ONE of Putin’s prized war planes has been damaged after a kamikaze drone strike deep inside Russian territory.
The attack, at the military airport in the Novgorod region more than 700 miles from Ukraine, witnessed a “helicopter style” drone.
The ministry said nobody was hurt and the fire was quickly extinguished.
The Russian defence ministry admitted a strike: “The Kyiv regime carried out a terrorist attack using a copter-type UAV on a military airfield in Novgorod region.”
“As a result of the terrorist attack on the territory of the airfield, a fire broke out in the aircraft parking lot, which was promptly eliminated by fire brigades.
“One plane was damaged, but there were no casualties as a result of the terrorist attack.”
In a separate statement cited by Russian news agencies, the Defence Ministry said a Ukrainian plane-type drone had been shot down over the Belgorod region, which borders .
The Soltsy air field is known as a base for Tu-22M3 supersonic bombers which have been used toUkraine.
It has an operational range of nearly 7,000km, putting all of Europe and the east coast of the United States within its scope.
These Soviet-designed general-purpose air-dropped bombs with a high-explosive warhead are old but devastating in their indiscriminate damage.
The Tu22M can also carry Kh-15 nuclear or anti-radar missiles, as well as Kh-22 long-range naval strike missiles.
Writing in The National Interest, national security expert Mark Episkopos said: “One of the most recognizable symbols of Russian airpower, the Tu-22M3 has distinguished itself over its three decades of service as an effective and eminently reliable strategic bomber.”
Today, Russia has more than 60 in operation.