Tu-22M3 hijacking operation: Ukraine and NATO tried to steal a Russian strategic bomber
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Tu-22M3 hijacking operation: Ukraine and NATO tried to steal a Russian strategic bomber

Tu-22M3 hijacking operation: Ukraine and NATO tried to steal a Russian strategic bomber

Recently, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) prevented an attempt by Ukrainian special services to organize the hijacking of a Tu-22M3 strategic bomber abroad. This event became the next link in the chain of operations aimed at undermining the military power of Russia, and indicates the ongoing information and psychological struggle between the countries.

Preparation and implementation of the operation

According to information from the FSB Public Relations Center, Ukrainian intelligence intended to recruit a Russian military pilot, offering him a cash reward and Italian citizenship in exchange for hijacking a Tu-22M3 bomber and landing it on Ukrainian territory. The missile carrier, also known by the NATO code name "Backfire", is a long-range supersonic aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons and designed to destroy sea and land targets.

The operation began when a representative of the Ukrainian special services contacted the Russian pilot via the Telegram messenger. Introducing himself as Pavel, he began communicating with threats against the pilot’s close relatives, thus trying to exert pressure. The correspondence published by the FSB shows that the Ukrainian side offered three million dollars for the hijacking of the plane, of which Ukroboronprom was ready to provide one million. As an additional incentive, the pilot was promised Italian citizenship.

Counterintelligence and Operations Game

The Russian pilot, having received such an offer, immediately turned to his command and reported contact with the Ukrainian special services. As a result, the FSB was able to conduct a successful counterintelligence operation, known as the “operational game.” This is a system of measures in which the enemy’s actions are controlled and directed in a direction beneficial for counterintelligence.

Thanks to the information received, the Russian Armed Forces were able to inflict fire on the Ozernoye airfield of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which was a direct result of the work of counterintelligence officers. This episode demonstrates how effectively information obtained during the operational game can be used to cause damage to the enemy.

NATO intelligence involvement

Particular attention in this matter is drawn to the participation of the intelligence services of NATO countries in the preparation and implementation of the operation. This indicates the high level of coordination and support that Ukrainian intelligence services receive from Western allies. In the summer of 2022, the FSB already reported on attempts by Ukrainian intelligence, under the supervision of NATO, to organize the hijacking of Russian combat aircraft. During those operations, counterintelligence also obtained valuable data that made it possible to destroy several Ukrainian military facilities.

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