SABOTEURS believed to be linked to Ukraine have hit two planes and a helicopter at a high security airfield near Moscow.
Damage was inflicted on both an An-148 and Il-20 aircraft, as well as a Mi-28N helicopter, used earlier to down strike drones in Moscow region.
An Mi-28N helicopter was also hit.
Images released by Ukrainian intelligence have shown the extent of the damage.
Saboteurs had reportedly planted explosives in a major security breach at the air base, which is located 20 miles north west of Moscow.
It is one of the airbases used to Putin’s distinctive Ilyushin-80 Maxdome planes designed for use to command and control a nuclear war from the skies.
The Kremlin claim that the Ilyushin Il-80 Maxdome can survive a nuclear blast, despite it being unable to prevent a daring band of thieves from breaking in almost three years ago.
In December 2020, the ‘”Doomsday” plane was raided by “gold robbers” as the airbase suffered a humiliating major security breach.
Some 39 pieces of radio equipment, containing gold and platinum, were stolen after a cargo hatch was cracked open.
It isn’t the only controversy surrounding the “Kremlin in the sky”, after its Victory Day parade flyover was cancelled at the 11th hour back in May.
It was claimed “bad weather” was the reasoning behind the decision, despite blue sky and sun being visible in Moscow at the time.
Along with the Doomsday jet, the Chkalovsky Air Base also houses Russia’s most sensitive reconnaissance planes.
Wednesday’s embarrassing attack was claimed by the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine, although no damage was inflicted on the Il-60s.
Kyiv’s military intelligence released the following statement.
“The event caused quite a bit of hysteria in the higher [Russian] military corridors – government planes, so-called ‘Doomsday planes’ and special [reconnaissance] aircraft are based at the airfield.
“Unknown persons planted explosives and detonated an An-148 and Il-20 aircraft – both belong to the 354th special purpose aviation regiment at the airfield.”
It stressed Chkalovsky is “carefully guarded”.
The Mi-28N helicopter “which was actively involved in shooting down attack drones over Moscow region” was also damaged.
Another report added: “The saboteurs planted explosives and blew up the An-148 and Il-20 aircraft, as well as the Mi-28N helicopter, which had previously been actively involved in shooting down attack drones over the Moscow region.”
The damage “will not allow them to be quickly restored”, however.
A second An-148 also suffered some damage.
The attack was two days ago but was only revealed today.
Nonetheless, the Ukrainian intelligence report has confirmed that measures are already underway to find the saboteurs.
They said: “Punitive authorities of the Russian Federation are conducting measures to find the saboteurs and limit the dissemination of information about the event in the local media”.
It comes after an Su-34 supersonic fighter-bomber strike aircraft crashed in a region bordering Ukraine.
However, the two pilots survived after managing to eject in time, according to reports.
Regardless, it represented another embarrassing loss for Russia as it became the tenth in Vladimir Putin’s air force to crash this year.
The Russian defence ministry claimed that a “technical malfunction” caused “failure of the left side landing gear”.
The resulting footage from the crash showed the aircraft up in flames in a field.
It is said to have crashed in the Kashira district of the Voronezh region near Kolodezny village.
Voronezh is home to several military installations including Baltimor airfield, home base for the 47th Mixed Aviation Regiment.