Air Weapons: Western Russia Under Attack


March 28, 2024: Ukrainian long range UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) or drones have been making attacks on key targets as distant as Moscow, which is 850 kilometers from Ukraine, and St Petersburg at 1,100 kilometers distant. Targets are usually industrial facilities that support the war effort. These include numerous oil refineries and oil fuel storage facilities plus facilities involving specialty steels for tube artillery and tanks. Russia claimed to have destroyed dozens of Ukrainian UAVs and lost a few oil facilities. There were a lot of Ukrainian UAVs lost, but that was because they hit their targets and were gone. The UAVs came in low and slow to deceive Russian air defenses, which have a hard time detecting low and slow aerial targets, especially at night when most of these attacks take place. While the targets are up to a thousand kilometers from Ukraine, the UAVs can also move north across a corridor that is several hundred kilometers wide. Russian anti-aircraft defense systems cannot cover an area that wide and long, especially when the attackers are coming in low and slow in the dark.

Russia tries to play down the effectiveness of the Ukrainian UAV attacks by describing rather obvious burning refineries and fuel storage depots as accidents. In early 2024 there have been a lot of such accidents and Russian troops in Ukraine have to closely monitor their fuel consumption because fuel deliveries are not as frequent and reliable as they used to be. The Russian fuel facilities also supply the commercial and civilian market. The commercial users are important because they supply the firms producing goods needed by the military as well as consumers.

The Ukrainian UAV attacks also led to disruptions of flight operations at the three airports serving the Moscow region.

Russia claimed it shot down 35 UAVs, which were believed to be all that were involved in that day’s attacks. Ukraine had no comment on details of their UAV attacks. Ukraine believes the results speak for themselves. Targets in western Russia are increasingly under attack by Ukrainian UAVs and the Russian government has a hard time explaining why combustible targets in the region keep exploding or catching fire. Such events are contrary to the official government reports about the Russian war efforts in Ukraine. Russia has not experienced attacks like this on the homeland since World War II and that is something the Russian government does not want to discuss.




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