Ukraine’s military intelligence department (HUR) disclosed for the first time the details of a special operation conducted last August, that destroyed or disabled three Russian TU-22M3 bombers, using drones.
A special forces unit, commanded by the Hero of Ukraine, Colonel Oleh Babii, covered more than 600 kilometers on foot through Russian territory in order to carry out the task.
As Kyiv Post reported at the time the aircraft had been used to launch missile attacks against civilian targets in Ukraine.
Having accomplished the task deep in the enemy’s rear, the reconnaissance team began their extraction with their commander, Oleh Babii, providing cover. He was killed covering the withdrawal of his men.
An HUR statement said: “Returning to the territory controlled by Ukraine, Colonel Oleh Babii's reconnaissance group was ambushed and engaged in an unequal battle with Russian invaders. In this battle, on Aug. 30, 2023, covering the retreat of his comrades-in-arms, Ukrainian reconnaissance man Oleh Babii was mortally wounded and killed.”
For his deeds, Oleh Babii was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine and the Order of the Golden Star.
At the time the Aug. 19 attack the Soltsy military airfield was credited to drones, which were described as “copter-type UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle]” by Russia’s Defense Ministry.
The relatively short range of this type of drone led to immediate speculation, by the UK defence ministry among others, that the drones must have been launched from within Russian territory
According to the HUR, from the first days of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Babii had organized, carried out and led a number of special forces operations both in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and on Russian terrain that had actually had an impact on the course of this war.
He is credited with nine successful operational tasks behind enemy lines, and twelve missions to organize and support the resistance movement in the occupied areas and behind enemy lines.
During these operations “Up to 70 important strategic enemy targets were identified: command posts, military equipment, engineering and fortification equipment, etc.” the HUR statement said.
Because of the successful completion of tasks by Colonel Babii's group, logistics support to Russian troops was severely disrupted and important facilities and elements of critical infrastructure were destroyed. Entire units of the Russian occupation forces were deprived of their combat capability, suffered loss of command and control of its troops as well as weapons, suffered communications disruption, and thus the cohesion and efficiency throughout Russian rear areas was negatively impacted.
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