Tu-22: a symbol of the Cold War and a real threat to NATO

21 June 1958, the first prototype of the Soviet heavy long-range supersonic bomber Tu-22 (at that time just machines of the 105 project) rose into the sky. This aircraft is one of the symbols of the Cold War, it became a serious argument in the confrontation with NATO and a real threat to the forces of the North Atlantic Alliance. Serial production of the bomber continued in the USSR until December 1969, during which time 311 aircraft of this type were assembled in various versions. The aircraft was in service with the Russian Air Force right up to the 1994 year.

The Tupolev Tu-22 bomber was a response to the rapidly changing nature of the air war in the middle of the 1950-s and was considered a supersonic replacement for the Tu-16 bomber, just like the American B-58 Hastler bomber was intended to replace the B-47 Stratohyte bomber At an early stage of work on the project, the Tupolev OKB-156 studied the requirements not for a specific aircraft, but for a number of sufficiently large supersonic aircraft that could fulfill the role of a tactical strike aircraft, a medium and heavy bomber, and a long-range interceptor. These directions began to converge on one in 1954. A project to create a new supersonic aircraft received government approval 10 August 1954 year.

The works directly on the Tu-22 aircraft (the 105 project) at the Tupolev Design Bureau began on August 15 on 1955, D. Makarov acted as the main designer. Already by August 1957, the first prototype glider was ready. By the summer of 1958, the engines were mounted on the prototype of the bomber, and the static tests of the aircraft were launched. 21 June 1958, the prototype for the first time, flew into the sky, on this day the plane was flown by test crew Yury Alasheev. Since 1957, the OKB has been working in parallel on the second prototype, the 105A project. This aircraft assumed major changes in terms of aerodynamics (in the design used the "rule of the areas"). Later, the second prototype turned into a serial long-range supersonic Tu-22 bomber.


Very high hopes were pinned on the new aircraft in the Soviet Union, so even before the first flight it was decided to launch the bomber into mass production under the designation Tu-22, it was planned to assemble the car at the Kazan aircraft factory. Due to the prolonged and very difficult tests, during which the planes crashed and the pilots died, a rather peculiar situation developed. The aircraft was already mass-produced in Kazan and even entered the military units (from 1962 of the year), but it was still not accepted for service. During the ongoing tests, there was an endless series of improvements to the new machine, the designers worked very hard on the control system. Ultimately, on the flying machines and in the serial construction, eight complexes of modifications were carried out, which included dozens of works on a variety of systems. Only by the end of 1968, it was decided to adopt the Tu-22Р, Tu-22К, Tu-22П and Tu-22У aircraft, while the development of the entire ARK K-22 complex continued.

The first to pass the entire range of tests were Tu-22R, Tu-22U and Tu-22P aircraft. The most difficult was the development process of the Tu-22 as part of the K-22 ARC, over which both the design bureau and the customer fought. Completely solve all problems with this aviation missile system succeeded only in the early 1970s. The complex was put into service in February 1971. A huge merit in bringing to mind all the modifications of the Tu-22 that were under construction in the USSR belonged to test pilots and engineering and technical personnel of the Civil Aviation Research Institute of the Air Force.

The design and features of the Tu-22

In order to fit into the rather rigid limitations of the technical specifications for size, the crew of the aircraft was decided to be reduced to three people (pilot, navigator and operator), who were accommodated in a common cabin. Lantern cab managed to make a narrow, wedge-shaped. He differed minimal frontal resistance, but significantly limited the pilot's review. The decision about the crew of three people was one of the most controversial, as shown by the further operation of the bomber. Not all pilots could master this complex, heavy and high-speed aircraft. In Long-Range Aviation, and, perhaps, in the entire world aviation, it was perhaps the only heavy (with a landing weight in the 60 tonnes area and a landing speed of 320-330 km / h) a production aircraft with a “single” control - without "(Second pilot) and without a second navigator.

Also on the 105 project's aircraft, the main landing gear began to get into the gondola on the wing, as was done on the Tu-16. This decision allowed to increase the volume of the bomb bay, which was very important for the bomber. But along with this, there was a forced decrease in the area of ​​wing mechanization, which significantly worsened the takeoff and landing characteristics of the aircraft. All this delayed the process of testing and modifications.

The Tu-22 serial supersonic long-range bomber was an all-metal monoplane of a classic layout with a low swept-shaped wing. The aircraft fuselage had a practically circular cross section and was designed taking into account the “space rule”. The power plant consisted of two turbojet engines that were placed on both sides of the keel. The tricycle landing gear of the aircraft, its main pillars were retracted into special gondolas. In the central part of the fuselage there was a roomy bomb bay that could hold up to 12 tons of various bombs, including FAB-5000 or FAB-9000. It was also possible to use special bombs (nuclear bombs) or air-to-surface missiles on the Tu-22K and Tu-22КД models. Aiming at the target was provided with an optical bomber sight or a sight-sight radar. Navigation and radar equipment of the aircraft made it possible to operate it in all weather conditions.

For self-defense, an 23-mm HP-23 automatic aircraft gun was equipped with a radar sight, it was remotely controlled and provided protection for the rear hemisphere. Due to the difficulty of using the cannon against attacking enemy aircraft, it was gradually decided to switch to firing with special PIKS and PRL jamming projectiles in the direction of the detected air targets. Also, additional protection for the aircraft was provided by various REP devices.

Tu-22PD at Engels airbase

Beginning with the 1965 year, turbojet engines RD-22М7 designed by PA Kolesov were installed on Tu-2 aircraft. In the afterburner mode, the engine developed 11 000 kgf thrust, and when the oversage gave 16 500 kgf. There was enough engine data to accelerate the plane to supersonic speeds, the maximum speed with them increased to 1600 km / h. The aircraft's fuel system consisted of 32 soft rubber unprotected tanks that were located in the wing box and fuselage. Aviation kerosene T-1 or TC-1 was used as fuel. The maximum fuel charge was up to 44,3 tons. A hose-cone air refueling system was equipped with 176 built aircraft.

The Tu-22 bomber was the first aircraft in our country to receive a centralized system for refueling under pressure. The centralized refueling of the aircraft was conducted through the filling neck located on the left plane. If necessary, to reduce the landing weight, the crew could, through special drain valves under the wing and in the rear fuselage, drop tons of fuel to 28 in just 15 minutes.

Despite the titanic efforts of the designers, the Tu-22 was distinguished by the presence of a mass of various shortcomings. The first series of this bomber because of the reverse of the ailerons had limitations on the maximum flight speed - no more than 1,4 Mach. After the appearance of the ailerons-flaps, these restrictions with the Tu-22 were lifted. At the same time, the complexity of piloting a combat vehicle, poor visibility from the cockpit and a fairly high landing speed - up to 320 km / h, placed very high demands on pilots' skills; it often caused disasters more than once during landing. Also for the basing of aircraft needed only the first class runway with a strip length of at least 2700 meters, which in the case of a full-scale war could lead to certain problems with basing. A controversial decision was the fact that during an emergency escape of an aircraft, the crew members of the crew members ejected down. This ruled out the possibility of rescuing pilots at low altitudes.

Tu-22 after landing

And if as a long-range Tu-22 bomber looked quite good, as a missile carrier, he was much weaker. For the simple reason that he could carry only one X-22 air-to-surface missile, the Storm, and this was clearly not enough. With the rapid improvement of air defense systems that questioned the whole concept of the aircraft. That is why the use of Tu-22K / KD missile carriers armed with X-22 missiles on targets of the type “aviation strike group” was planned to be carried out by groups of planes with a composition up to a full aviation division. Attacks could be carried out according to various schemes - from a frontal strike from one direction to dilution of aircraft carriers into three groups with building them in two waves (in range) and using at the forefront of already launched missiles of jammers.

Importantly, despite all the flaws, the Tu-22 was for the country the first supersonic jet bomber in long-range aviation. The experience of its design and subsequent operation came in handy when creating a much more advanced strategic missile carrier Tu-22M. At the same time, in terms of their tactical and technical characteristics, the Tu-22 had a number of advantages over its American counterpart, the B-58 bomber, which was designed at the same time to solve almost the same combat missions. In addition, the Tu-22 was able to "outlive" its overseas competitor.

Combat use of Tu-22 bomber

In parts of the Long-Range Aviation of our country, the aircraft was operated up to the 1994 year. He managed to take part in the Afghan war. Air regiments armed with these bombers participated in bomb strikes against Mujahideen concentrations and carried out aerial reconnaissance. At the same time, the crews flew from airfields located on the territory of the USSR, carried out the assigned combat mission and returned back. They operated at high altitudes, out of range of MANPADS and other enemy anti-aircraft weapons. Modification of the Tu-22PD (EW aircraft) was used at the last stage of the war. For example, the 4 of the Tu-22PD aircraft from Ozernyi from October 1988 to January 1989 was accompanied by Tu-16 and Tu-22M bombers, providing interference to Pakistani F-16 fighters. In January 1989, they were replaced by other 4 aircraft from the 203 regiment from Baranavichy, having completed their task, in February 1989, they returned home.

For its time, the Tu-22 was fairly well protected, primarily by means of electronic countermeasures. 23 March 1983, a case occurred when the Soviet Tu-22 lost its course during an exercise and accidentally entered Iranian airspace. The plane made a flight with the EW system turned on, so the Iranian fighters that had flown out to intercept it could not send missiles at it and almost fought with each other. Then the plane crossed the airspace of Afghanistan, where the Soviet fighters Su-22 and MiG-23 took off to intercept the "intruder". Soviet interceptors also fell under the EW system, and the intruder Tu-22 then quietly landed at Mary airfield in Turkmenistan. The invulnerability of the aircraft largely compensated for its accident rate and made the Tu-22 a very dangerous opponent for NATO and a weighty argument of the USSR during the Cold War.

In addition to the USSR, the Tu-22 aircraft also exploited the Libyan and Iraqi air forces. It is known that Baghdad actively used this bomber throughout the Iran-Iraq war. The aircraft were used to deliver powerful rocket-bombing attacks on various targets in Iran, including using the FAB-5000 and FAB-9000 aerial bombs. They struck not only at airfields, troops and infrastructure of Iran, but also at surface targets. On the night of 18 to 19 March 1988, four Iraqi Tu-22B, each of which carried a 12 bombs FAB-500, we achieved the destruction of two Iranian supertankers Anaj (displacement 316 739 tons) and Sanandaj (displacement 253 837 tons), which stood at an oil Khark Island’s terminal, while the ground infrastructure was seriously damaged. By the end of the war, the X-NUMX Tu-12 bombers from Iraq had 22 machines left, of which 8 was in combat readiness. During the 5 years of conflict, Baghdad lost only 8 of this type of aircraft.

During the serial production of the Tu-22 bomber, 311 aircraft were assembled in various modifications (bomber - Tu-22А and Tu-22Б, Tu-22 bomber bomber ). More than half of these aircraft received a hose-cone system boom from the Tu-22H or ZMS-22 refueling aircraft and were designated Tu-22KD, Tu-16РД, Tu-XNUMHПД and Tu-2UD, respectively.


The Tu-22 bomber was very difficult to maintain and operate the aircraft, and this concerned both technical and flight aspects. During the 30 years of active operation of the aircraft, for various reasons, it was prematurely dropped (crashed, burned down on the ground, finally failed) more than 70 bombers from the 311 built. More than 20 percent of the park was lost. It is not surprising that in the USSR Air Force the plane had different nicknames - “awl” for the original hull shape and “cannibal” for high accident rate. There were cases when the crews refused to fly the Tu-22, at that time it was the most emergency vehicle in the Soviet Air Force. The Tu-22K missile carrier was particularly difficult to operate and in flight. The commander of such an aircraft could only be a first class pilot. Tu-22 was difficult to maintain. To fly the plane required to prepare 3,5 hours, and the preliminary preparation of the bomber took a full working day. Repair and maintenance of the engines of this machine, which were located at a fairly high altitude above the ground, were rather inconvenient.

In the Russian Long-Range Aviation, these aircraft continued to fly until August 1994, when the last Tu-22 of two regiments left the territory of Belarus, having flown to the base of the butchering in Engels, where they were dismantled. Despite all the difficulties in operation and a rather large accident rate accumulated during the creation of the Tu-22, the experience allowed the Soviet designers to create a new supersonic bomber Tu-22М, which, despite a similar name, was in fact a completely different aircraft. Modernization of this supersonic bomber Tu-22М3 is still in service with the Russian Air Force.

Flight technical characteristics of the Tu-22KD (missile carrier):
Overall dimensions: length - 42,2 m, height - 9,45 m, wing span - 24,6 m, wing area - 162,2 m2.
Empty mass - 43,6 t.
Normal take-off weight - 69 t.
Maximum take-off weight - 92 t.
The power plant is 2 TRDF VD-7М2, kg 2 x 11 000 kgf or 2 x 16 500 kgf (with afterburner).
The maximum flight speed is 1640 km / h.
Practical range - 4550 km (subsonic speed), 1750 km (supersonic speed).
Practical ceiling - 13 500 m.
Runway Length - 2700 m.
Run length - 1900 m.
Armament: HP-23 automatic cannon, bomb load up to 12 000 kg, various types of free-falling bombs can be used, as well as nuclear bombs (1 pcs) or X-22 air-to-surface guided missiles (1 pcs).
Crew - 3 person.

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41 comment
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  1. +1
    5 July 2018 05: 30
    Now you can safely add to its LTX the ability to carry 4 dagger hypersonic, quasi-ballistic missiles on board.
    1. +9
      5 July 2018 06: 01
      Withdrawn from service, no flight samples.
      1. +3
        5 July 2018 06: 52
        Quote: Munchhausen

        The modernization of this supersonic missile carrier Tu-22M3 is still in service with the Russian Air Force. Unlike Ukraine, which, for the sake of Mr.’s cookies, only to spoil the brothers with pleasure cut the TU-160s not made by it
        1. +17
          5 July 2018 08: 31
          Tu-22M3 is a brand new car. In addition to the Tupolev Design Bureau, these machines do not have anything in common.

          And they cut them at the direction of the ocean so that the cars did not go to China, like the Su-33. It was in the interests of Russia.
          1. 0
            5 July 2018 12: 08
            And they cut them at the direction of the ocean so that the cars did not go to China, like the Su-33. It was in the interests of Russia.

            Of course, it is in Russia's interests to weaken a potential partner and ally, as well as strengthen the West laughing
        2. AUL
          5 July 2018 09: 05
          Oleg, the Tu-22M is not a modernization of the Tu-22. This is a different machine. Absolutely different. Let similar names not mislead you - there were reasons for this not of a technical nature.
          1. BAI
            5 July 2018 10: 01
            there were reasons for this not of a technical nature.

            Political (who knows how to agree). They didn’t give money for a new plane, but please for "modernization".
        3. +8
          5 July 2018 14: 47
          Quote: Mar. Tira
          The modernization of this supersonic missile carrier Tu-22M3 is still in service with the Russian Air Force.

          The Tu-22M / M2 / M3-has in common with the aircraft described in the article only four “details”, these are two letters T and Y, a hyphen and the number 2 written twice. Before you write a comment for the sake of comment, you at least looked at Wikipedia ...
          1. -2
            5 July 2018 14: 56
            Well, it’s understandable. Actually, you present this claim to the author of the article. For I have cited part of his text.: In general, how do you not clever TU-22, it is TU-22 with letters or not, with modernization or not. But the name remains, even though it’s a completely different model. I have the honor !!!!! : hi
          2. +2
            6 July 2018 17: 35
            Nothing really? But what about the almost identical beam holder BD6-105AMD, the front pillar (along with all the flaps, struts, etc.), the fuel receiver, PNA radar, STR Siren, etc.
        4. 0
          28 August 2018 08: 21
          Well, according to this logic, the Russian Federation is even worse, tk. for "cookies" that became simple paper, I handed out aircraft carriers and boats to the Indians. And now we ourselves are not enough, and additional only in dreams.
      2. 0
        5 July 2018 11: 13
        Alexei, have non-flying even stayed?
        1. +1
          5 July 2018 14: 29
          In Monino stands alone.
        2. +1
          5 July 2018 17: 43
          In Saratov, in the "Victory Park" stands.
  2. +2
    5 July 2018 07: 21
    Regarding the unusual crew of the Tu-22 - one pilot and one navigator, the shelves had such a humorous explanation - Where is the largest wooden piece on the plane? The answer, Pravak (assistant to the commander of the ship), whose duties included cleaning the landing gear and mechanization.
    - Where is the smallest wooden part on the plane? The answer is the chart table.
    1. +4
      5 July 2018 10: 30
      the gunmen on this machine were called "crooked crowbars" - it was difficult to roll the rocket exactly under the lock and its further position was straightened just by crowbars
  3. +3
    5 July 2018 09: 12
    hi This aircraft is one of the symbols of the Cold War, it has become a serious argument in the confrontation with NATO and a real threat to the forces of the North Atlantic Alliance. soldier
    1. +3
      5 July 2018 10: 26
      Sanya, hi! near the Zhytomyr airfield there is no such pedestal, called "named after Captain Zherebtsov" he landed him without releasing the chassis
      1. +5
        5 July 2018 10: 55
        hi ... Rum is healthy.
        Quote: novel xnumx
        ... near the Zhytomyr airfield there is no such pedestal

        ... If you didn’t pass the colormet (for the Soviet past)
        1. +2
          5 July 2018 11: 09
          I recently saw on Google, but saws sharpen, drooling
  4. +4
    5 July 2018 11: 14
    from the Tsushima forum
    Iraqi pilots considered the Tu-22B to be strict, not simple. Nevertheless, with the outbreak of war, the opinion changed dramatically: the aircraft turned out to be low-cost, heavy load and very accurate target destruction. Tu-22M (several of our aviators of various levels spoke to me about this, later confirmed by Iraqi comrades), but ours gently replied that they were “not enough for us ourselves.” After that, requests were sent for delivery from 4 to 30 Tu-22K with X missiles -22 (according to various sources s amount, often talked about 8- 12 cars), then we would see a scene and fight against convoys in the third world, but did not dare to sell our secret oruzhie.Iraktsy want to clean everything and stop these aircraft navigation in Iranian waters.
    At least during the visit of our delegation, the Iraqis did not have any Tu-22Ks.
    By the way, the Tu-22 was called Shil everywhere, or is it local art?
    1. +1
      5 July 2018 11: 50
      "Eater" was also a common name.
    2. avt
      5 July 2018 11: 56
      Quote: sivuch
      Iraqi pilots considered the Tu-22B to be strict, not simple.

      well, like this
      .... For three days we searched in the taiga hood and wings,
      Three days we searched in the taiga Serega.
      And he almost reached out, quite a bit
      He did not reach the landing lights ......
      as well as the nickname of NATO - Blinder / ,, Blind "This is about him.
      Quote: sivuch
      called sheela

      I heard about
      Quote: bober1982

      request It didn’t happen. The device was complicated, it didn’t forgive anything.
      1. +2
        5 July 2018 12: 43
        Quote: avt
        Did not

        “Flayer”, “Blind John”, but the most “awl” and “Eater”
        1. +5
          5 July 2018 13: 42
          The strategic defective is the same. And the awl was not in the "shape of the case", but for the alcohol-glycerin mixture in hydraulics.
          I don’t understand how people can write about aviation without knowing basic terms? Well, what the hell is the shape of the hull of an airplane? Where the hell is his case then?
          1. +1
            5 July 2018 15: 15
            Where the hell is his case then?
            Did you ask a rhetorical question or don’t know where the plane has a body?
    3. +2
      5 July 2018 14: 55
      Quote: sivuch
      Tu-22 everywhere called Shil

      Yes, this "airfield people" prosthetically named it like that. What was the name of the MiG-21 balalaika, MiG-25-flying deli, Mi-6- "Misha" or a barn. When the first three Su-159s arrived at us, during the Union’s time in the Northern Sea Fleet, at Klyuchevo’s airfield in 27 GIAP, they first started calling them “Heron”. In flight, its elongated fuselage, when viewed from its side, resembled this bird ...
  5. +3
    5 July 2018 11: 24
    recommend -
    Tu-22 Museum of the 22nd Guards Heavy Bomber Donbass Red Banner Aviation Division
    The machine was more than widely used for alcohol cooling, in the form of an alcohol-water mixture (the so-called “epee” or “awl” in YES, and “slippers” in the AVMF), in an amount of 450 liters (the number and volume of alcohol containers is very different for different modifications of the aircraft), which caused a very mixed reaction among the aviators and created problems for the command.
  6. +2
    5 July 2018 13: 37
    There are very interesting Memoirs of a pilot, Colonel Chupin Alexander Ivanovich, commander of the Tu-22 ship from 1973 to 1985they are available online.
  7. +1
    5 July 2018 13: 39
    In childhood, they had to see them flying from the ground, very beautiful cars ... and it’s a pity that they did not confirm the rule of their creator, that only beautiful cars fly well, but their accident rate is excessive.
  8. +3
    5 July 2018 14: 31
    Every time there are more and more fantasies about flying over Iran. A navigation error occurred due to a change in weather. They gave a different take-off direction, but the navigator did not change the data, instead of north to south they ran over (for MD and just who is not aware of the JPS (GLONASS) in those days there were no planes on our planes, data were sent to the inertial navigation system on the ground, before Then everything is simple, an error was found when at the right time in the right place the Barents Sea wasn’t there, they turned back at full speed, no one took off, the EW didn’t turn on.
    1. +2
      5 July 2018 14: 53
      The navigator did not agree on the course system before take-off, the change of weather has no effect here, the Barents Sea, too, is not entirely clear why. They couldn’t turn around and back at full speed because the crew simply lost their orientation. did not understand where they were.
      Quote: Bad
      Every time more and more fantasies about flying over Iran

      And here I agree.
      1. 0
        6 July 2018 08: 15
        By changing weather, I meant changing the direction of the wind, because of which they were given a takeoff in the opposite direction.
        1. +1
          6 July 2018 08: 27
          Before takeoff, the exchange rate system is coordinated, this was not done, and as a result, a 180 degree error, and instead of Baranovichi, they went to Tehran.
  9. +3
    5 July 2018 15: 36
    Tu-22 at the DA Museum in Diaghilevo, Pulp and Paper Mill and PLC DA, Ryazan
  10. +2
    6 July 2018 16: 28
    I really like the look, especially the turbines on the sides of the keel. Brutalism of the 60s, post-apocalypse.
    A great example for the filming of "Terminator", well, such as the remnants of people inflict a counterattack.
    1. +2
      8 July 2018 22: 44
      And how he roared! When flights to the Machulishchi were in the 70-80s, the floor of Minsk was covered by the roar of engines.
  11. 0
    7 July 2018 22: 30
    There is another Tu-22 at the intersection of st. Marina Raskova and st. Engels -1 in the city of Engels, Saratov Region (during the years of my military service they would say: "At checkpoint No. 2 is an air town"). There are photos and panoramas on Yandex maps. On that plane, instead of a stern cannon mount, there is an active jamming station.
    For some reason, there is nothing in the material about how the Tu-22B fought in Chad. “Falcons” Gaddafi, as I recall, learned to fly in the BSSR in Zyabrovka, Gomel region.
  12. +1
    11 August 2018 10: 21
    If I am not mistaken at cruising speeds and altitudes, the plane "sat" in the air quite tightly, but during takeoff and landing, it really did not forgive the slightest mistakes.
    1. 0
      30 August 2018 13: 45
      The "severity" of this "unique" aircraft is due to the small margin of static stability. For this reason, the AP-7MTs autopilot used the signal of the acceleration sensor Ny in the longitudinal channel in addition to the DUS (angular velocity sensor) damping. All those who flew on this "awl" in peacetime are heroes. However, it is interesting that the combat use (against Iran) showed that the aircraft was effective.
  13. 0
    25 September 2018 11: 23
    My father in the 70-80th navigated the Tu-22m. In the Far East. He even let me sit in the cockpit.

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