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Ukraine Targets Russia: First Fighter Jet Attack Marks New Escalation

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Ukraine conducts its first fighter jet strike inside Russia, escalating the conflict. Western support fuels Ukrainian attacks, prompting a fierce response from Moscow.

Ukraine Conducts First Fighter Jet Attack on Russian Territory

In a significant escalation, Ukraine has attacked a target inside Russia using a fighter jet for the first time since the conflict began. According to a Ukrainian military source reported by Sky News, the target was a Russian command post in Belgorod, a region that has faced numerous Ukrainian attacks in recent months. The exact type of ammunition used in the attack remains unclear, but it was confirmed to be a direct hit.

Fighter Jet Strike and Drone Attacks: A New Phase in Ukraine-Russia Conflict

The attack on the Belgorod region initially targeted a non-residential building, according to Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of the Belgorod region. Reports from the Russian online newspaper Novaya Gazeta suggest that an ammunition depot in the village of Rakitnoye may have been hit. Furthermore, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed it had shot down three Ukrainian drones in quick succession, resulting in three injured soldiers. On a broader scale, a coordinated attack by Ukrainian forces led to the sinking of a Russian Ropucha-class landing ship recently relocated from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov.

U.S. and German Authorization Fuels Ukrainian Strikes

Ukraine's recent successes may be partly attributed to newfound authorization from the U.S. and Germany to use Western-supplied weaponry for limited attacks within Russian territory. Similarly, Ukraine's military intelligence released images purportedly showing the aftermath of an attack on a state-of-the-art Russian Su-57 stealth fighter jet at the Akhtubinsk base, located about 589 kilometers from the front lines. This strike marked Ukraine's first known successful attack on such an advanced aircraft. These developments have intensified the war and evoked a furious response from Moscow, with President Putin threatening to supply arms to enemies of the West and suggesting a potential escalation in global tensions.

  • Russian media channels have reported that three drones hit the runway in Akhtubinsk, causing shrapnel damage to the Russian aircraft. While pro-Russian military bloggers tend to be reliable sources of such information, neither the Kremlin nor the Russian Defense Ministry has officially commented on the incident.
  • In addition to the attacks on military targets, Ukrainian forces have continued to use drones to strike various locations inside Russia, including a gas terminal near St. Petersburg. Ongoing drone strikes have also targeted southern border regions like Belgorod, leading to minor infrastructural damage but no casualties.
  • Meanwhile, the intensified warfare has seen damaging effects on Ukrainian regions near the front lines. Areas like Kharkiv have experienced severe shelling, leading to civilian casualties and infrastructural damage. Kuhotlimla in the northeastern Kharkiv region saw shell attacks that resulted in one death and several injuries, highlighting the ongoing brutality of the conflict.
  • In response to the latest developments, Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser, defended the decision to permit Ukraine to use Western weapons for limited cross-border strikes, describing it as 'common sense' given the proximity and nature of Russian offensives around Kharkiv.
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