Ukrainian air force hits first target on Russian territory as war continues to escalate

This was the first attack against Russia carried out by a Ukrainian aircraft

(Source: X)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

A Ukrainian military aircraft has hit a target on Russian territory for the first time, a Kyiv military source announced, in the latest sign that Ukraine and the West are willing to bring the war to Russian soil.

According to the Ukrainian source, a “Russian command center” was reportedly attacked on Sunday, June 9, near Belgorod in western Russia.

It is not yet clear what type of ammunition was used in the attack, including whether it was a Western weapon. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the military source told Sky News, “The Ukrainian air force hit a Russian command center in Belgorod. Although damage assessment is still ongoing, the attack resulted in a direct hit. This is the first Ukrainian airstrike on a target on Russian territory.”

The strike comes after a number of Western countries, namely Germany, France, and the U.S., approved the use of Western-supplied missile systems against military targets on Russian territory.

Ukraine already regularly carries out drone strikes deep into Russian territory, but this is the first time a military aircraft has been used to strike targets inside Russia. The day before, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that Russian armed forces had shot down several Ukrainian drones in the Belgorod region.

The United States and France recently said that Ukrainian armed forces are allowed to use their weapons to strike military targets in Russia, from where Russian troops launch attacks on Ukraine. Under new guidelines approved by President Joe Biden, U.S. munitions could be used on Russian territory to defend the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov.

David Cameron, the British foreign secretary, was less specific, saying simply that Ukraine has yet to decide how it will use British weapons, such as Storm Shadow cruise missiles, which could be launched from Ukrainian aircraft.

A Ukrainian military source also said that on Saturday, June 8, they carried out a “coordinated attack” on a Russian landing ship that had recently passed into the Sea of Azov from the Black Sea. The ship was the fifth of seven Ropucha-class amphibious assault ships that were sunk as a result of Ukrainian attacks, the source said.

“This successful strike shows the Russians that they cannot operate freely either in the Black Sea or in the east,” the source added. According to him, the Russian military uses such ships to transport ammunition and cargo to the occupied city of Mariupol for further transport to the frontline.

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