Ukraine deals psychological blows in the game of drones over Crimea | Ukraine

For the second time in less than a month, the Russian naval base in Sevastopol I was attacked by a drone. Plumes of smoke were seen rising after the incident, which occurred on Saturday morning, and the city’s Russia-appointed governor, Mikhail Razvojev, said it came after a drone flew over a sensitive military site.

In narrow military terms, the attack is not significant. It’s about one drone, Razovozhaev said. Snapshots from a local Telegram channel It seems to support that. But the main question is how a drone was able to evade Russian electronic warfare defenses and fly right over the naval base.

Sounds like small arms fire can be heard, not air defense systems Some videos The drone may have been shot down before the payload was delivered. Razovojev initially said the drone was not hit before saying it was. However, it is embarrassing to say the least for Russia, which is struggling to demonstrate its ability to defend what it considers its own backyard.

Experts such as Justin Pronk of the Research Center of the Royal United Services Institute suggest that the drone in the film could be a commercially available Chinese-made model, $9,500 (£8,030) Mugin-5, or a copy of it. Manufacturers say it has a flight time of up to seven hours, a top speed of 150 km/h (95 mph) and can be adapted to carry an improvised warhead. Manufacturers say the payload is 15-20 kilograms.

The drone may also have been involved in reconnaissance, although mounting evidence of a pattern of drone strikes deep behind the frontline in Crimea and elsewhere suggests something different. Russia said the same naval base was hit by a drone At the end of Julyinjuring five people, which makes the fact that defenses weren’t tightened up all the more remarkable.

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original video From a Russian military blogger, shows a similar-looking aircraft being used in a kamikaze attack on an oil refinery in Novoshakhtinsk, within Russian territory near Rostov, just across the border from occupied Donetsk. The similarity is unlikely to be a coincidence.

Ukraine continues to refuse to take official responsibility for such attacks, although it sometimes does so in private. In public, the country’s leaders prefer to make informed comments that are not always subtle. Take Volodymyr Zelensky’s overnight statement: “This year, one can literally feel in the Crimean atmosphere that the occupation there is temporary, and Ukraine Back. “

The suggestion is that Ukraine has developed a new method of attack, aimed at sowing “chaos within the Russian forces”, said Zelensky’s chief adviser Mikhailo Podolyak. He told the Guardian newspaper last week. Some experts believe that drones operated by special forces were responsible for Dramatic attack on Sake Air Force BaseAbout nine fighter planes supporting the Russian fleet in the Black Sea were destroyed.

In any case, such strikes with drones will have a practical effect. The Institute for the Study of War said that “Russian occupation officials in Crimea are likely considering bolstering security on the peninsula” and that “such measures could push Russian security forces away from the front lines.”

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But the crucial point is the psychological effect. Repeatedly captured on video, it shows that Crimea and similar outposts behind the lines are not safe, bringing the conflict closer to Russia and the occupied territories, while simultaneously (at least for now) focusing on military and industrial targets.

A series of videos on social media show traffic jams on roads outside Crimea, including At least one was released on Saturday, indicating that the Russians who moved into the area after its occupation and annexation in 2014 no longer consider it safe. Aharon Show traffic jams From Sevastopol to Yalta.

If this is the effect of a handful of drone strikes, Ukraine will consider the efforts justified. No wonder Razovojev told the Russians in Sevastopol that it was time to fight the propaganda war better as he pleaded with everyone to remain calm because the local air defense system was now operational. “Upload videos with our air defense systems working,” he said.

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