HUMILIATING video footage shows two of Vladimir Putin’s Flop Gun pilots bombing a target inside Russia – and missing.
The pair of Su-34s – Russia’s most advanced ground attack jets – swooped low to strike ragtag rebels after they “invaded” a border checkpoint.
A Russian Su-34 jet is seen swooping low and dropping bombs from 100ft over a border checkpoint in the Belgorod region[/caption]
A second jet released flare decoys as well as two bombs, seen with white drag chutes[/caption]
The 500kg bombs apparently fell wide of the mark and detonated in a field[/caption]
Putin’s pilots were apparently so terrified of air defence missiles that they flew in just over the rooftops despite being on Russian territory.
And one of the jets is seen releasing decoy flares to defend against heat-seeking rockets.
Video shows they dropped a total of four high-explosive bombs from a height of around 100ft.
They were slowed by drag chutes before hitting the ground in a puff of earth, then exploding seconds later on timer fuses.
But the blasts hit some distance from the apparent target – an administrative building at Russia’s own Grayvoron checkpoint.
The bombs used were believed to be FAB-500Sh bunker-busters with half-ton explosive warheads, reports The Drive.
The failed bombing run was seen as a sign of the desperate measures Russia resorted to after a humiliating incursion earlier this week in the Belgorod region.
Dozens of anti-Putin Russian paramilitaries stormed over the border from Ukraine with at least one armoured car and US-made Humvees.
At least nine villages near the checkpoint were evacuated as the volunteers waved flags and posed for photos, vowing to bring “freedom” from Putin’s regime.
Thousands of soldiers were deployed to take them on, along with aircraft and heavy artillery.
Russia – which called it a “terrorist attack” by the Ukrainian army – claimed to have killed 70 of the rebels and driven the rest back over the border.
But after more than two days of skirmishes, some of the volunteers were still posting videos from inside Russia in a major embarrassment for the Kremlin.
Ukraine denied it was behind the incursion, and said those involved were all Russian nationals.
The footage of the bungled bomb attack emerged today hours after Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine came under fire.
A massive blast struck a weapons store in Berdyansk in southern Ukraine – allegedly from a British Storm Shadow cruise missile.
Explosions were also heard in mainland Russian region Krasnodar, and Russia said it shot down a missile in the Rostov region near the Morozovsk air base.
Russia’s once-mighty air force has suffered a series of embarrassments since the invasion began last year.
In April another Su-34 pilot accidentally dropped a bomb in the city of Belgorod.
It blew a 70ft crater in a street and gutted nearby apartments, but miraculously no one was killed.
Authorities admitted “an abnormal descent of aviation ammunition occurred” – meaning a 500kg bomb fell off its rail.
Last October, 15 people were killed when an Su-34 crashed into an apartment building in Yeysk in the Krasnodar region.
The Su-34 – which spent decades in development – is hailed by Russia for its allegedly advanced technology.
Each one costs a reported $36million.
But the air force faced ridicule when it emerged pilots rely on shop-bought Garmin satnavs taped to the dashboard to find their way.
Two-seater Su-34s are seen as Russia’s “frontline bomber” and have been used widely in the Ukraine war.
But analysts reckon at least one in ten of the whole fleet has been lost in the past year.
Russia’s air force was also red-faced after the downing of a US Reaper drone over the Black Sea in March.
On-board footage showed pair of Su-27 fighters buzzing the drone aggressively and dumping fuel over it to blind the cameras.
One jet then crashed into the propeller – which experts say was a mistake by the pilot who misjudged his approach.
Despite the bungle, both Russian airmen involved were given medals.