Russian missiles kill eight as Ukraine claims they shot down bomber

Moscow officials claim that one of their planes crashed in a sparsely populated area after technical problems, whilst Ukraine claims to shooting it down.

Neither claims could be independently verified. Previous Ukrainian claims of downing Russian warplanes during their ongoing conflict have typically been met with silence or denials from Moscow.

Simultaneously, Russian missiles targeted cities in Ukraine’s central Dnipro region, killing eight people, including a 14-year-old girl and 8-year-old boy, and injuring 28, according to local authorities.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy continued Kyiv’s regular appeals for more Western air defence systems.

He emphasised the efficacy of preventing missile and drone attacks, as evidenced in the Middle East, advocating for similar measures in Europe via a social platform post.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba added: “Children must not be killed in airstrikes in modern Europe.”

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Emergency Service, rescuers and ambulance workers carry a person at the scene of a Russian attack in Dnipro, Ukraine, Friday, April 19.

While Russia’s air force significantly outmatches Ukraine’s, advanced missile systems provided by Kyiv’s Western allies pose a considerable threat to Russian aviation. The Kremlin’s forces continue a slow advance along the approximately 1,000-kilometer front line in a long and slow battle. Ukrainian officials anticipate a significant Russian offensive in the summer.

Ukraine indicated that its air force and military intelligence collaborated to bring down the Tu-22M3 bomber using anti-aircraft missiles. This bomber is commonly used by Russia to launch Kh-22 cruise missiles at Ukrainian targets from within its airspace and can carry nuclear warheads.

The Russian defence ministry reported the warplane crashing in a “deserted area” in the southern Stavropol region, far from the Ukrainian border.

Three crew members were rescued after ejecting from the aircraft, with ongoing efforts underway to locate a fourth crew member. However, Stavropol Governor Vladimir Vladimirov said that one of the rescued pilots had died from his injuries.

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