Ukraine carried out a successful drone attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in occupied Crimea on Friday, killing and wounding “several dozen” Russian servicemen and damaging ammunition dumps and storage facilities, Kyiv Post has been told.

Several explosions were reported on social media at a military base near the village of Perevalne, Simferopol after what is believed to be Ukraine’s largest drone attack to date.

Russian sources reported a near-swarm of Ukrainian drones launched towards Crimea overnight Aug 24-25. Russian officials tried to play down the attack and Kremlin information platforms claimed 42 aircraft were shot down and Russian facilities and personnel were not hurt.

But according to Kyiv Post sources in the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), a special military counterintelligence operation of the SBU and Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) targeted the 126th brigade of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

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“Currently, we can definitely talk about several dozen Russians killed and wounded. Ammunition storage facilities were also damaged. Military equipment was also seriously damaged,” the source said.

Russian sources had already cast doubt on the Kremlin’s version of events. Boris Rozhin, a Russian military blogger, said that while most of the drones had been intercepted, nine “managed to fly to the Perevalne training ground, where they were jammed by the electronic warfare.”

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The source told Kyiv Post that SBU drones once again effectively targeted critical infrastructure, ensuring uninterrupted military operations in Russia.

He added: “But several of these UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) landed on the site, damaging two KamAZ trucks. There is no data on casualties or damage to infrastructure."

The SBU source told Kyiv Post that Russian forces were “completely unprepared for such a special operation” and an unspecified number of drones “managed to bypass all enemy defense systems.”

They added: “We predict even more surprises for the occupiers in the future.”

The strike is just the latest in an escalating pattern of Ukrainian attacks on Russian-occupied Crimea. 

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that "relevant air defense systems work quite effectively,” describing the drone attacks as “terrorist activity, because for the most part, it is aimed at residential buildings.”

Peskov’s comments ring hollow after an eventful week on the peninsula – in a daring dawn raid with small boats, Ukrainian commandos damaged a critical Russian air force radar base operating on the Crimea coast.

Ukrainian special operators landing near the Crimean resort village Mayak hit an air space monitoring installation manned by the Russian Aerospace Forces’ 3rd Radio Engineering Regiment, knocking out a Nebo-M radar and Kasta-2E2 radar, effectively shutting down the site for months, Andriy Yusov, the spokesman for the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense (HUR), said in Thursday evening television comments.

And on August 23, according to official Kyiv reports, Ukrainian naval units fired a Neptune cruise missile from an undisclosed location to strike and destroy a Russian 48Y6-K1 Podlet air reconnaissance radar, the main air surveillance system for Russia’s top-of-the-line S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile.

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The attack – at a range of at least 110 kilometers, and hitting an S-400 battery in Olenivka, adjacent to the village of Mayak – also destroyed an S-400 missile launcher, Ukrainian military journalist Yuriy Butusov wrote in a Thursday report.

Why Crimea? 

Mick Ryan, a retired Australian major general and veteran Ukraine watcher, in comment to Kyiv Post said that Kyiv has likely embarked on a systematic campaign to degrade Russian air defenses in Crimea, with the additional political goal of maintaining pressure on Kremlin leadership, and forcing Moscow to choose between reinforcing the peninsula or the front lines, where Russian soldier morale is falling and the AFU is attacking. 

“I think there are multiple reasons why we are seeing this now. First, there is a political imperative for the Ukrainian government to ensure Crimea remains part of their unified ‘liberate Ukraine’ plan and isn’t separated out by foreign politicians. 

“The other political imperative is to communicate to Ukraine’s supporters that there is more to their 2023 campaigns than just the southern front. Militarily, the Ukrainians have been isolating Crimea with multiple bridge strikes. But more importantly, they are putting the Russians in a dilemma and forcing the Russians to make tough choices about deployment of forces in Crimea and other places.

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“There is a psychological aspect – Ukraine wants the Russians to be looking to their front but also looking over their shoulders to the south, while thinking ‘how much longer can we sustain this?’” Ryan said.

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Comments (4)

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Future Thinking
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Focus heavily on A.I. drones and there ability to traverse and target there enemies. A partial use of GPS technology followed by camera operated targeting, and the final stage of attack allow A.I to lock onto targets. Eliminating any need for counter-battery electronics or avoidance. This is what the future is going to bring us and eventually just a simply point and click on any reference map with coordinates. A.I will distinguish the enemy target when it reaches the coordinates within its own internal mapping system. You can just sit at home and have dinner with the family while playing your favorite bombing run mission with precise targeting. Were getting close to it. There will be no need for trenches or assault groups, facial recognition A.I software will attack any enemy you give it. The future is coming fast.

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Denis Bat
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Switch off GPS and rely on visual targeting when approaching the target.

Sarek
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use the Force, Luke!

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Denis Bat
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Good Job!!! This is a war of drones...

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John
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Ukraine needs to figure out a way to beat jamming systems used by the Russians. It seems a waste for so many drones to be knocked off target. A visual targeting or other non GPS system needs to be used so the drones can fly through local jamming close to the target.

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