A Russian warplane accidentally bombed its own city of Belgorod near the Ukrainian border last night in a humiliating blunder by Vladimir Putin’s forces.
Video shows the moment a SU-34 fighter jet mistakenly fired the bomb at the city of more than 400,000 on Thursday night, narrowly missing an apartment block.
The blast injured at least two women, damaged homes and left a crater about 70ft across in Belgorod, which is about 15 miles from the Ukrainian border.
Video footage from the site showed piles of concrete on the street, several damaged cars and a building with broken windows in a disaster that could have been far worse.
Citing preliminary information, Belgorod region governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said one woman was hospitalised with a head injury, while another woman was treated at the scene following the blast.
A Russian warplane bombed its own city of Belgorod in an humiliating blunder by Vladimir Putin’s forces
Residential buildings were damaged from the explosion, said Belgorod mayor Valentin Demidov
This handout picture posted on April 20, 2023 on the official Telegram account of Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of the Belgorod region, shows damage after an explosion in the city
A car was thrown by the shock wave onto the roof of a Pyaterochka convenience store.
The blunder was in Belgorod region – which borders Ukraine and is deeply tense because of Putin’s war.
Some 30 people have been killed and 123 wounded here since the start of his invasion as Ukraine responds to overwhelming Russian aggression.
The Belgorod region is one of several parts of southern Russia where targets such as fuel and ammunition stores have been rocked by explosions since the start of the war.
In the video footage, a flash is seen lighting up the night sky as the bomb hits the ground.
The defence ministry quickly acknowledged the error.
‘During the flight of an Su-34 aircraft of the Aerospace Forces over the city of Belgorod an abnormal descent of aviation ammunition occurred,’ said a statement.
‘It was miraculous no-one died – at least according to official figures,’ reported journalist Dmitry Kolezev.
‘Apparently the ministry decided that admitting self-bombing is better than admitting that the Armed Forces of Ukraine can inflict such powerful strikes on Russian cities.’
The bomb is suspected to have been a modernised FAB-500M62, a Soviet-designed 500-kilogram (1,100 lb) general purpose air-dropped bomb with a high-explosive warhead.
The bomb is suspected to have been a modernised FAB-500M62, a Soviet-designed 500-kilogram (1,100 lb) general purpose air-dropped bomb with a high-explosive warhead. Pictured: A crater created by the blast
Cars were damaged in the blast after the SU-34 warplane mistakenly bombed the city
A view shows a damaged apartment block at the accident scene following a large blast in a street in the city of Belgorod, Russia, on Thursday
The SU-34 (file image) mistakenly slammed a bomb into the city of more than 400,000, narrowly missing an apartment block
The blast injured at least two women, damaged homes and left a crater about 70ft across in Belgorod, which is about 15 miles from the Ukrainian border
It is supposed to be ‘high precision’, and has been used to strike targets in Ukraine.
These munitions have reportedly been rushed into service in the war, and are liable to errors.
OSINT analyst Kirill Mikhailov cited by Agentstvo said: ‘In order for everything to work, the bomb must first properly separate, then its wings must open properly and the navigation system should work…
‘Something went wrong in this process.’
Regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said: ‘An investigation team and employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations are working on the spot.’
The city is some 25 miles from the Ukrainian frontier, and 50 miles from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city.
The Su-34 is seen as Russia’s ‘frontline bomber’.
Estimates indicate some ten per cent have been lost during the war against Ukraine unleashed by Putin almost 14 months ago.
In October 2022, an Su-34 fighter-bomber crashed near a multi-storey residential building in Yeysk, in Russia’s Krasnodar region, and caught fire.
A total of 15 people died.
Six days later, a Su-30 military plane crashed on a two-story house in Irkutsk.
This picture shows an apartment damaged in an explosion in the city of Belgorod
A view shows the accident scene following a large blast in a street in the city of Belgorod, Russia