They call it the “Game of Drones,” the drone duel in which Ukraine landed heavy hits directly in enemy territory. It is a response to the bombing of its cities, but also part of a “deep strategy” that has forced Moscow to take protective measures.
Authorities have announced the formation of a militia in the area around the Pskov base, which was the target of a raid that resulted in the destruction of two Ilyushin 76s and the damage to another pair. Several hundred civilians arrived to join “teams” tasked with monitoring the region. They are provided with vehicles and uniforms and undergo rapid training. Will they be enough? Experts believe that the attack was carried out using small drones from Russian territory: they were controlled by robbers, partisans or Ukrainian commandos. They have a short range but are easy to transport. It is therefore possible that the Russians want to tighten security measures to find any saboteurs. However, to be effective, the defense also needs an electronic counter-drone component, and it is not certain whether it has enough of it, since the majority of the equipment is needed by the battalions involved in the invasion.
The use of “volunteers” is reminiscent of the initiative in Belgorod, a region on the border with Ukraine, the scene of drone operations and selected enemy units. Hit-and-run actions are made easier by the surprise factor and a reduced presence of regular forces. Therefore, it is necessary to mobilize the population to help the soldiers. A “climate” that also affects occupied Crimea. According to Ukrainian sources, Moscow has introduced compulsory military training in schools. To this end, a group of 25 teachers have already been trained in the areas of firearms use, emergency medicine and discipline: the professors would essentially act as guides for the program. The initiative has practical and propaganda implications and could be, for some, the first step towards a career in uniform.
The news complements information about the deployment of a newly formed reserve force to support the army on two fronts. In the south it is busy containing Ukraine’s advance: the Americans have reported important tactical successes in the last 72 hours. In the east, it attempts its own counterattack in the Kupyansk area and has to respond to pressure in the Bakhmut area.
The wide-ranging conflict is leading to new outbreaks in the Black Sea. The Russians have claimed the destruction of at least three naval drones aimed at the Kerch Bridge, which has been attacked in the past by all means, including a truck bomb. To protect strategic infrastructure, lookouts, helicopters and, for a few days, barges were sunk to create a barrier against boats. The Ukrainians are still trying to do damage while exploring possible openings or tactics. As already mentioned several times, Kiev started almost from scratch and after a year and a half developed an arsenal of sea drones, including the Marichka, for underwater use.
As with aircraft – and their destinations – there was a gradual development: the design, trying to acquire technology abroad, local production, extending the range, testing the range and real missions to improve it .
Despite the prudence of its main ally, the United States, Kiev appears to have placed no limits on its movements on Russian territory. Security Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said on Saturday that targets 1,500 kilometers away could soon be reached thanks to new models of locally produced drones and missiles. Overcoming the American rejection of the supply of weapons with these characteristics.