Crimean Night, Smoke All Around: Russian Invaders Suffering Attacks From Air & Sea7
- 22.03.2023, 16:36
Are the drone attacks a sign of an impending counteroffensive?
For two days in a row, Ukrainian drones have been attacking Russian military targets in the occupied Crimea. On March 20, an explosion in the city of Dzhankoy destroyed Russian Caliber NK cruise missiles that were being transported by rail.
UAVs hit the strategic railway junction of the occupiers.
In the morning of March 22, explosions thundered in the temporarily occupied Sevastopol.
The so-called “governor” of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhaev, reported on the attack of surface drones on the Russian fleet in Sevastopol in his Telegram channel.
Russian propagandists write on social media that the attack on Sevastopol involved marine drones. There were three marine drones in total.
The Charter97.org website figured out what is known about UAV attacks on the occupied peninsula.
What kind of drones are attacking Russian military facilities from the air
The media published a photo of the UAV wreckage that attacked Russian military facilities in Dzhankoy. As it turned out, Chinese Mugin-5/SkyEye 4450 drones hit the invaders.
Its wingspan is 4,450 mm, length — 3,670 mm. The weight of the UAV is 50 kg, of which 20 kg is payload. The dual gas engine accelerates the drone up to 170 km/h (cruising speed — 130 km/h). The Mugin-5/SkyEye 4450 has a flight time of five hours with a full 27 liter fuel tank and a range of more than 650 kilometers. The drone (H-shaped “frame”) is controlled remotely via radio.
There are other “birds” in the arsenal of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In an interview with the Charter97.org website, Colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, test pilot Roman Svitan said that the Ukrainian army is armed with at least seven domestic drones:
“I will say that if seven were presented, it means that their number must be multiplied by two. It turns out that there are a dozen of them.”
Basically, as the expert says, this is the UJ-22 UAV:
“Standard aircraft layout, wingspan — more than three meters, it is almost invisible, assembled from plastic. The engine is two-stroke, with it the drone can carry somewhere at least 20 kilograms of explosives. These are either mines or shells.
Where it can go depends on how much fuel is poured into it. In principle, it can reach more than 1,000 km in one direction. Combat radius with return is 500-700 km. The drone can reach, unload and return back. Its speed is just such that not a single satellite will cut it off, somewhere around 100 km / h.”
The Armed Forces of Ukraine have another dozen and a half of the same plan of drones with a long and short range:
“There are drones also for 100-200 km with direct control and without communication with the satellite. They will work in the nearby “theater” in the same Belgorod, Kursk, Bryansk, Rostov. That’s it, the happy life of the Russians is over.”
Marine drones of the Armed Forces of Ukraine against the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation
In the attack on the Sevastopol Bay, the Armed Forces of Ukraine used kamikaze sea drones. They appeared in the theater of war in Ukraine last autumn.
The design of marine drones is based on a body from a conventional civilian jet ski. It is equipped with a jet engine, remote controls, modern infrared cameras. Drones even have Starlink receivers. A Soviet high-explosive bomb is used as a warhead— most likely, FAB-50CK.
Is the Russian Black Sea Fleet safe?
Head of the joint press center of the south of Ukraine defense forces Natalya Humenyuk expressed the opinion that the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation is to some extent trapped. She explained that, with certain restrictions, Russia can only relocate its ships to the Sea of Azov.
“Geographically speaking, the withdrawal [of ships] for them is now possible only in the Sea of Azov. But there, the depths will not be allowed to pass everywhere to the ship composition that they have in the Black Sea. They will not be allowed to leave the Black Sea through the Bosporus by international law and the sanctions adopted,” she said.
It turns out that the Black Sea Fleet is not safe, since, given the capabilities of Ukrainian drones, it will not be possible to leave the “kill zone”.
Are drone attacks a sign of preparing for a counteroffensive?
Before launching a successful counteroffensive in southern Ukraine, the Armed Forces of Ukraine actively fired from rocket artillery on bridges, ammunition depots, bleeding the Russian group in the Kherson region.
Can drone strikes on Russian military facilities in the Crimea mean that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have chosen the occupied peninsula for a counteroffensive?
Military expert Oleksiy Melnyk said in an interview with Charter97.org that it is too early to talk about this:
“In my opinion, the General Staff is probably considering several options that will be adjusted along the way depending on the situation and intelligence information. Therefore, I repeat once again, there is no data for us to speak with a high degree of certainty about some most probable direction of impact. Moreover, I think that this choice is still in the process of development.
However, some military experts believe that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will launch a counteroffensive against the Crimea. Former commander of U.S. forces in Europe, retired General Ben Hodges believes that Ukraine's priority is to strike to isolate the peninsula, as well as to seize the Black Sea Fleet.
Hodges pointed out that it is important to make the peninsula unsuitable for the troops of the RF Armed Forces.
“Drive the Russian fleet out of Sevastopol with daily pinpoint strikes. The same for the Russian Air Force in Saki. Ground forces may come later,” the general wrote on social media.
The general also published a rough plan for the de-occupation of the peninsula.