In a significant operation executed deep in Russian territory, a Ukrainian special operations unit successfully destroyed a Russian Tupolev Tu-22M3 bomber and disabled two others, as reported by the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (DIU). The operation, conducted on August 30, 2023, saw Ukrainian intelligence officers traverse over 600 kilometers through enemy territory to carry out this mission.
The operation was commanded by Colonel Oleh Babii. Throughout his service, Colonel Babii conducted nine successful reconnaissance missions behind Russian lines and led twelve special operations to organize and support resistance movements in temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and Russian territory.
Babii’s team, after accomplishing their mission in enemy territory, faced an ambush by Russian forces during their return to Ukrainian-controlled territory. During the firefight, Colonel Babii was mortally wounded while covering the retreat of his team. His heroism and sacrifice earned him the posthumous title of Hero of Ukraine and the Order of the Golden Star.
The Tupolev Tu-22M, a supersonic, variable-sweep wing, long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber developed by the Tupolev Design Bureau, has been a key component of Russian military operations.