Watch: Ukraine ‘shoots down’ Russian bomber armed with cruise missiles

Ukraine on Friday said its forces had shot down a Russian Tu-22 bomber mid-air for the first time.

Kyiv’s military intelligence agency said the jet had been struck some 190 miles behind the front line using an undisclosed weapon.

“For the first time, anti-aircraft missile units of the Air Force, in cooperation with the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, destroyed a Tu-22 strategic bomber, a carrier of Kh-22 cruise missiles used by Russian terrorists to attack peaceful Ukrainian cities,” Mykola Oleshchuk, the commander of Ukraine’s air force, added.

Kyiv said on Friday that the long-range Russian bomber plane had launched deadly strikes on the cities of Dnipro and Kryvy Rig.

“We took our revenge for our cities and civilians,” air force spokesperson Illya Yevlash told AFP.

Officials said a five-storey apartment building was partially destroyed after it was struck in the Russian attack which killed eight people.

Dmytro Kuleba, the foreign minister, said a 14-year-old girl and eight-year-old boy were among the victims.

Footage shared on social media appeared to show the hulking Soviet-era jet on fire and in a tailspin as it hurtled towards the ground.

Further unconfirmed images appeared to show the charred remains of the bomber in a field of yellow and green flowers.

Moscow’s defence ministry said the plane had crashed in a field in the southern Russian region of Stavropol after a technical malfunction.

Vladimir Vladimirov, the Russian regional governor, said its four crew members ejected, with one dying, two rescued and another rescue operation under way to find the fourth.

But shortly after the Russian denial, Ukraine’s HUR military intelligence agency shared video of what it claimed was the crew carrying out the attack on the Tu-22.

“As a result of the damage, the bomber was able to fly to the Stavropol region, where it fell and crashed,” it wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Unconfirmed image appears to show the charred remains of the Russian bomber
Unconfirmed image appears to show the charred remains of the Russian bomber - Governor of Stavropol Krai/AFP via Getty Images

Intelligence sources told The Telegraph that the strike was carried out with a modified, Soviet-era S-200 surface-to-air missile launcher.

While HUR did not publicly confirm what weapon had been used, the spy agency said it had used the same system to shoot down a Russian A-50 radar jet earlier this year.

Ukraine’s air force also announced it had shot down 15 missiles, including Kh-22 cruise missiles, and 14 drones in an overnight Russian bombardment.

Serhiy Lysak, the regional governor of Dnipropetrovsk, said 11 of the 16 missiles and nine out of 10 drones used to attack his region were downed.

“Dnipropetrovsk region survived hell. But who do the Russians want to break with their missiles? No one can unite around a shared tragedy like the Ukrainians do,” he said.