Ukraine Claims First-Ever Fighter Jet Strike On Russian Territory

Ukraine Claims First-Ever Fighter Jet Strike On Russian Territory:

Ukraine is touting that it has launched a successful airstrike by fighter jet inside Russian territory, Sky News is reporting, which is a significant first of the conflict. An unidentified Ukrainian military source described to the UK outlet that an air-launched missile strike was conducted inside Russia’s Belgorod region Sunday, hitting a “Russian command node”.

Sky News raised the likelihood that a Western-supplied missile was used in the attack, highlighting that it comes soon after Western allies including the US greenlighted Kiev’s use of NATO-supplied munitions to attack inside Russia.

“It was not immediately clear what type of munition was used in the attack, including whether or not it had been a Western weapon,” the report said.

The Ukrainian military source told Sky: “A Ukrainian Air Force (UAF) mission has struck a Russian command node in Belgorod.”

“Whilst damage assessment is still occurring, it is confirmed as a direct hit,” the statement added. “This is the first UAF air-delivered munition delivered against a target within Russia.”

Cross-border drone attacks have become commonplace at this point, but never has there been a report of a fighter jet attacking a location inside Russia’s borders.

While there is as yet no indication that Ukraine actually used a Western fighter jet to attack Russia, which would be a massive escalation leaving Kiev open to huge retaliatory strikes, Ukraine forces are expected to receive their first F-16s this summer. However there has been ‘frustration’ building among allies:

Ukraine wants more of its military pilots trained on the F-16 but its Western allies are unable to fill the demand, according to a report by Politico, citing three unnamed sources.

Ukrainian officials are reportedly pressing the US and its international partners to free up seats at their F-16 training facilities to accommodate more Ukrainian pilots.

There are 30 Ukrainian pilots who are now eligible to receive training, but the F-16 school in Tucson, Arizona, can at most accept 12 additional trainees.

The fact that Ukraine military officials are now boasting to UK outlets of having attacked Russian territory with air-launched missiles is perhaps a way of keeping up the pressure on partners and allies.

But Russian media has taken note, with RT commenting: “Russia has air superiority on the front line and an extensive network of air defenses, which makes it highly risky for Ukraine to operate its remaining air force assets. However, it has conducted strikes inside Russia using small, hard-to-detect kamikaze drones.”

The state media report added, “The Russian Defense Ministry has not commented on the Sky News claim, but it has reported that on Sunday morning, a Ukrainian Neptun-MD anti-ship missile was intercepted over Belgorod Region.”

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