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Ukraine claims to hit one of Russia’s most advanced warplanes

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Kyiv, June 9: Ukraine on Sunday said its forces hit an ultra-modern Russian warplane stationed on an air base nearly 600 kilometres from the front lines, after its Western allies allowed Kyiv to use their weapons for limited strikes inside Russia.
Kyiv’s main military intelligence service shared satellite photos it said showed the aftermath of the attack. If confirmed, it would mark Ukraine’s first known successful strike on a Su-57 fighter plane, a twin-engine stealth fighter lauded as Moscow’s most advanced military aircraft.
In one photo, black soot marks and small craters can be seen dotting a concrete strip around the parked aircraft. According to the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence, the strike took place on Saturday at the Akhtubinsk base in southern Russia, some 589 kilometres from the front line.
It wasn’t immediately clear what weapons were used, but the airfield’s distance from Ukraine suggests that it was likely hit by drones.
The strike comes after the United States and Germany recently authorized Ukraine to hit some targets on Russian soil with the long-range weapons they are supplying to Kyiv. Ukraine has already used US weapons to strike inside Russia under newly approved guidance from President Joe Biden that allows American arms to be used for the limited purpose of defending Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.
The Ukrainian agency said that the plane, which is capable of carrying stealth missiles across hundreds of kilometres, was among “a countable few” of its type in Moscow’s arsenal. According to reports by Russian agencies, Moscow’s armed forces obtained “more than 10” new Su-57s last year, while 76 are set to be produced by 2028.
Moscow did not immediately comment on the reports. Russia’s Defence Ministry on Saturday claimed its forces downed three Ukrainian drones in the Astrakhan region, home to the Akhtubinsk airstrip. (AP)

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