Russia will likely continue drone attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine trying to break the Ukrainian will to fight – ISW

Russia will likely continue drone attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine trying to break the Ukrainian will to fight – ISW

Shahed-136 drone wreckage. Illustrative image 

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Editor’s Note

In its December 30 Russian offensive campaign assessment, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War says that Russia will likely continue to commit an increased number of Iranian-made Shahed-series drones to attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine “in its misguided attempt to break the Ukrainian will to fight.”

Russian forces targeted Kyiv using Iranian-made drones on the night of December 29 to 30, a continuation of an increased pace of drone attacks in Ukraine.  The Ukrainian Air Force Command stated that Russian forces launched 16 Shahed-131 and -136 drones at targets in Ukraine on the night of December 29 to 30 and that Ukrainian air defenses shot down all of them.

Ukraine shoots down all 16 Russian kamikaze drones launched at night – Ukraine’s General Staff

Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces launched seven of the drones at targets in Kyiv and that Ukrainian air defenses shot down all of them, but one of the drones’ munitions hit an administrative building.

The Russian drone attacks follow a massive series of Russian missile and drone strikes against Ukrainian critical infrastructure on December 29 during which Russian forces launched 23 drones, the majority of which were Shaheds.

The Russian military’s use of 39 drones in the past two days, its use of 30 Shahed 131 and -136 drones on the night of December 18 and 19, and its use of 13 Shahed drones on December 14 represent a significant increase in its recent use of these systems in Ukraine.

Russia may launch another long-range attack in coming days – British intel

ISW assessed on December 10 that an increased pace of Russian drone attacks may indicate that Russian forces accumulated more Iranian-made drones after a three-week period (November 17 to December 7) of not using them or that Russia received or expected to receive a new shipment of drones from Iran.

Russia received new batch of Iranian Shahed drones – Ukraine intel

Russian forces have likely further increased their pace of drone attacks in an effort to sustain their campaign against Ukrainian critical infrastructure given their likely depleted stock of precision missiles.

Ukrainian air defenses have recently proven to be highly effective at shooting down Shahed drones and the Russian military’s use of these systems in attacks against civilian targets in rear areas is having diminishing impacts.

The Russian military will likely continue to commit an increased number of these systems to attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine in its misguided attempt to break the Ukrainian will to fight.

Read also:

Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 295: Ukraine downs 13 Shahed drones over Kyiv

Ukrainian air defenses shot down 10 of 15 Shahed-136/131 UAVs last night – Air Force Command

Russia likely received resupply of Iranian Shahed-series kamikaze drones – British intel

 

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