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Ukrainian drone blows up Russian supersonic bomber

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In a dramatic escalation of hostilities, a Ukrainian drone strike has reportedly obliterated a prominent Russian long-range bomber, signaling a new level of engagement in the ongoing conflict between the two nations.

Images shared on social media platforms and analyzed by BBC Verify appear to depict a Tupolev Tu-22 engulfed in flames at the Soltsy-2 airbase, located to the south of St. Petersburg.

While Moscow asserts that the drone was indeed struck by small-arms fire but only managed to “damage” one of its aircraft, Ukraine has refrained from commenting on the incident.

Russian power

The Tupolev Tu-22, capable of reaching twice the speed of sound, has been extensively utilized by Russia to carry out attacks on Ukrainian cities, making it a high-value target for Ukrainian forces.

The Russian Ministry of Defence issued a statement, confirming that the incident occurred around 10:00 Moscow time (08:00 BST) on Saturday at a military airfield in the Novgorod region, where Soltsy-2 is situated. According to the Russian MoD, the “copter-type UAV” was detected by the airfield’s observation post and subsequently engaged with small-arms fire. The statement maintained that while one airplane was damaged, there were no casualties as a result of the attack. Additionally, it mentioned that a fire in the airfield’s parking area was swiftly extinguished.

Moscow’s denials

Contrary to Moscow’s account, images circulating on the Telegram social media platform portrayed a substantial fire consuming an aircraft that exhibited the distinctive nose cone of the Tu-22.

While the destruction of a single aircraft may not significantly diminish Moscow’s current fleet of 60 Tu-22 bombers, this operation underscores Kyiv’s growing capacity to target Russian territory deeply. In recent months, Kyiv has employed numerous fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles to strike Moscow, a journey spanning several hundred miles. Soltsy-2, the site of the attack, is approximately 400 miles (650km) from the Ukrainian border.

Ukrainian tools

However, the Russian MoD’s description of the drone as a “copter-type UAV” suggests it may have been a relatively inexpensive, commercially available device launched at short range.

The Tu-22, commonly referred to as “Backfire” by NATO, is a Cold War-era swing-wing supersonic bomber. Modern variants such as the Tu-22M3 can reach speeds of Mach 2 (2,300km/h or 1,430mph) and carry payloads of up to 24,000kg, including conventional bombs and guided missiles. These bombers have been deployed in various conflicts, including Syria, Chechnya, Georgia, and most recently, Ukraine.

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Money

It takes a village: coordinated financial teams prove paramount to maximising wealth

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The pursuit of wealth is often faced by significant challenges including debt, lifestyle costs, and burnout – so what methods can help overcome these challenges?

Maximising financial opportunities involves a suite of tasks, from leveraging favourable loan rates, strategic tax planning, and coordinated financial advising.

Mark Wyld from MW Wealth joins to discuss more. #featured

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Microsoft recalls ‘Recall AI’ feature over security fears

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Microsoft has announced a postponement in the release of its new Recall AI feature, citing significant security concerns raised during internal testing.

Pope Francis took charge of discussions on the implications of artificial intelligence for global ethics and governance, Reuters reports.

The pope said AI represented an “epochal transformation” for mankind, but stressed the need for close oversight of the ever-developing technology to preserve human life and dignity.

“No machine should ever choose to take the life of a human being,” he said, adding that people should not let superpowerful algorithms decide their destiny.
“We would condemn humanity to a future without hope if we took away people’s ability to make decisions about themselves and their lives, by dooming them to depend on the choices of machines,” he warned.

#featured #trending

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