On May 26, Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence (HUR) attacked the Voronezh-M long-range target detection radar station in Orsk, Orenburg region in Russia, according to Kyiv Post sources in the HUR.

The HUR drone set a new distance record

The Ukrainian UAV flew more than 1,800 kilometers to its target in Russia, setting a long-distance record for kamikaze drones.

Previously, the furthest target Kyiv’s drones attacked was in the city of Salavat in Russia’s Bashkortostan Republic, which is 140 kilometers closer to the Ukrainian border than Orsk.

Map of general area of the HUR drone impact near Orsk.

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The Russian Telegram channel Ural56.Ru quoted local law enforcement agencies, which reported the UAV reaching near Orsk. The drone may have had a military early-warning radar and aerial surveillance facility equipped with the Voronezh-M system as a possible target.

No information was given about the exact drone impact location, nor about damage and casualties at the facility.

Voronezh-M early-warning surveillance radar system

The Voronezh-M is a phased array early-warning radar normally used to detect inbound space and atmospheric strategic weapons systems, particularly intercontinental ballistic and cruise missiles, and has a target detection range of up to 6,000 km depending on the variant of the Voronezh system and the target radar cross-section and other factors.

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It uses relatively low frequency VHF and UHF frequencies for detection but is not directly used by air defenses for intercepting targets. Its role is enhancement of overall situational awareness in the aerial battlespace, reportedly able to track about 500 airborne and spaceborne vehicles in more modern models of the system, though the Orsk site was only equipped with the VHF radar with less capability.

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The system is a newer Russian development brought to operational use in 2009 to be used to track inbound attacks from west of Russia. There are reportedly only eight such systems currently in use in Russia. The Orsk system entered service in December 2017 and is sited on Russia’s southern border with Kazakhstan, east of the Caspian Sea and south of the Ural Mountains.

Recent ATACMS strike on military command, control and communications facilities in Crimea

On the evening of May 23, a Russian command, control and communications hub on the Crimean Peninsula was hit by missiles. Kyiv Post confirmed the information about this attack through Special Services (SBU) sources.

Explosions were reported near Simferopol, Saky, Alushta, Yalta, Dzhankoya and Yevpatoria. 

Following the reports, Atesh partisan agents claimed an important command and communications node of the Russian forces (military unit 28735) occupying Crimea was hit in Alushta.

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