The independent Russian news site Important Stories in a report on March 21 revealed that, having been urged to take responsibility for protecting themselves from Ukrainian kamikaze drones, they have done just that. It found that oil and other energy companies had put out more than 300 tenders for the provision of counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems since early April 2023.

According to the Moscow Times, it was around that time that Andrei Kartapolov, head of the Defense Committee of the State Duma, Russia’s parliament, said that the Ministry of Defense only had sufficient funds and air defense assets to focus “on covering important government and military facilities.”

He said that Russia’s air defense zones were probably known to Ukrainian and Western intelligence agencies and that “as they know approximately where our air defense systems are located, it is quite possible to launch a drone along a route [that] bypasses those same air defense areas.”

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Kartapolov went on to say: “There are fairly inexpensive means of combating [UAVs] that every self-respecting corporation can purchase and supply to [protect] their facilities.”

This view was backed up by arch-propagandist Vladimir Solovyov who said on his Russia-1 television show on March 17, that if the owners of Russia’s oil refineries couldn’t take care of their safety themselves, their businesses should be taken away He made this statement following the previous week’s successful Ukrainian drone attacks on oil processing plants.

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In January, upStream, the Norwegian media site that reports on all things oil related, said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had agreed changes to legislation that would allow private companies to base anti-drone weapons to protect their facilities.

The tenders put out by Russian energy companies, including Rosneft and Lukoil, as well as electricity suppliers such as Rosseti, was for a whole range of counter-UAV systems. These include such things as modified high-speed machine guns, cannon, anti-drone guns, radio interceptors and signal jammers, as well as protective structures such as netting to surround key areas.

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Even before the recent attacks on oil refineries, security experts were already warning that the measures being put in place were likely to be ineffective. The long-range UAVs used by Ukraine carry high-explosive fragmentation warheads for which netting would be futile. Furthermore, anti-drone guns are designed to suppress communication between the drone and its operator, while these long-range drones fly autonomously.

Important Stories understands that Rosneft, which operates the Syzran oil refinery, put out a request for proposals for protective nets and a portable drone suppression system in the first half of 2023. If they had in fact been installed, they have evidently failed, as the Syzran plant in the Samara region was one of those damaged by a Ukrainian drone attack on March 16 that led to a fire.

Constant attacks by Ukrainian drones on Russian oil refineries have already led to a sharp rise in domestic prices for gasoline and other types of fuel in Russia and a temporary ban on the export of oil products. Even before last weekend’s strike, Bloomberg said that Ukrainian raids had likely affected as much as 12 percent of the country's refining capacity.

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Comments (3)

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Jim Worrall
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Shame on developed nations for failing to provide Ukraine ample missile defense and huge quantities of long range weapons. Russia is allowed to target women and children in every part of Ukraine. Ukraine should be able to target military and industrial sites all across Russia as well as Russian ships, planes and military bases all over the world.

Let's not forget Ukraine gave up the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world in exchange for promises of protection from Russia, the USA and the UK. Who believes Russia would have invaded if Ukraine still had thousands of nuclear ICBMs?

Western taxpayers have spent trillions over 70 years to acquire weapons to stop Russian aggression. Much better to send these weapons to Ukraine than let them collect dust in warehouses in the west.

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JOhn
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I think Ukraine is on the right track: attacking key russian infrastucture and logitical supplies. Having just come from an oil related article at Kyivpost, there are indications their refinery strikes in russia are even ruffling the feathers of at least some US republican oil profiteers (Bob McNally, Rapidan Energy, former Republican White House energy adviser). They are afraid russia make make retaliatory attacks against the neighbouring area oil infrastructure they rely on. If that escalation happened, maybe allied oil lobby interests would sway politicians to support Ukraine more.

It's seems the US media now chooses to cover almost anything other than the Ukraine war. Oddly I'm seeing better coverage on the oil party's favourite news media FOX (at least past MRGA putinrump lovers), than on their normally more globally focused CNN.

Ukraine is not required to sit passively, without sufficient allied defensive support, and wait for their demise. They need to hit russia where it hurts; Oil industry revenue. If that hurts westerners' at the gas pump....thats great! Maybe leadership in allied nations will take sending Ukraine sufficient defensive weapons more seriously.

Allies also need to start sourcing more weapons from outside the USA. US arms sales jumped 56% last year to a record $238 billion. I've got to imagine that surge in profit has related lobbyists preferring an extended war. Not good!

Do what you need to do to protect your democracy Ukraine.

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Hope
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Of these antidrone systems were installed, the drone raids would have failed .Ask about it for more clarity and correction ...
( If it was so and so , this Would have failed )
I hope Ukraine manufactures such systems that might be simple and affordable...
Have faith in your ability to bring more equality and justice into the world ...
God have mercy on all of us humanity ...

Hope
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@Hope, If*

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