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UK intel: Russia sets up security patrols to protect airfields from drone attacks

Russia is setting up security patrols in attempt to protect airfields from drone attacks that were “almost certainly” launched from Russian territory, UK intel reported.
Fire in the area of the airfield in Russia’s Pskov following a drone attack on the night of 30 Aug. Credit: Baza
UK intel: Russia sets up security patrols to protect airfields from drone attacks

In Russia’s Pskov Oblast, near the Estonian border, the governor has organized security patrols comprised of volunteers to prevent further uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks on Kresty air base, British intelligence said in its daily report.

Reportedly, up to 800 citizens have signed up to join the patrols. According to British intel, this initiative comes in response to the reported damage of two IL-76 transport aircraft on 29 August 2023.

On 31 August, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov told the media outlet The War Zone that four Russian IL-76 aircraft were struck in the attack. “Two were destroyed, and two were seriously damaged,” he said.

“Due to the limited range of quadcopter UAVs, the attacks were on the base almost certainly launched from within the Russian Federation,” UK intel said.

Intelligence: Drone strikes on Pskov airfield launched from inside Russia

Reportedly, the patrols will be organized into groups of 50 individuals spread across multiple municipalities. These groups will conduct patrols in border areas and safeguard critical infrastructure, with a particular focus on airports and airbases.

“The creation of these volunteer security patrols will likely act as a deterrence and provide a level of defence against quadcopter UAVs being operated from the immediate vicinity of the air base,” British intelligence wrote on Twitter.

UAVs are difficult to destroy with small arms fire, so Russian forces still need air defense systems with surveillance capabilities and kinetic and electronic interception capabilities to destroy attacking UAVs.

According to the British intelligence report, the use of security patrols “highly likely indicates a shortage of trained security personnel within Russia.”

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