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Here is a map of all Ukraine’s 2023 drone strikes on Russian targets

The skies above Russia have become a battleground as Ukraine’s drone warfare takes center stage.
Drone strikes Russian targets
Collage by Euromaidan Press
Here is a map of all Ukraine’s 2023 drone strikes on Russian targets

According to the BBC, there have been almost 200 suspected drone attacks this year in Russia and in Russian-annexed Crimea. 

19 August 2023

A suspected drone attack left one of Russia’s flagship Tupolev Tu-22 bombers ablaze at Soltsy-2 airbase, south of St Petersburg

Tu-22M on fire at Soltsy-2 airbase. Photo: the Armed forces of Ukraine via Telegram

27 August 2023

The Ukrainians reportedly used their cardboard drones, akin to those produced by the Australian company SYPAQ, to damage a MiG-29 and four Su-30 fighters in Russia’s Kursk Oblast

29 August 2023

Perhaps the most striking example occurred with the strike on Pskov airfield, some 700 kilometers from the Ukrainian border. The attack destroyed two of Russia’s roughly one hundred IL-76 heavy transport aircraft and damaged two other planes.

On that same night, drones launched attacks on five more Russian regions and the occupied Sevastopol. In Bryansk, unmanned aircraft caused a fire at the Kremniy EL plant, one of Russia’s largest microelectronics enterprises. Russian authorities reported the destruction of drones in Tula, Ryazan, as well as over the Oryol and Kaluga oblasts.

Moscow under drone attacks

3 May 2023

Russia accused Ukraine of attempting to assassinate Vladimir Putin at his Kremlin residence, although Ukraine denied involvement.

After that, Ukrainian drones started increasingly targeting Moscow’s city center, aiming to instill fear and division among the Russian population.

30 July, 1 August 2023

Multiple drones struck the upscale business center Moscow City, causing explosions that damaged two buildings. One of the impacted structures houses the offices of Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development, Ministry of Economic Development, and Ministry of Industry and Trade.

18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 August 2023

Drones attacked Moscow for six days in a row. According to Russian authorities, most of them were shot down. However, the UAVs damaged another unfinished skyscraper in the Moscow City business center, as well as the adjacent Expocentre and several residential buildings.

The Russian authorities deliberately refrain from activating air raid sirens during drone attacks to avoid causing panic among civilians. As a result, each of these strikes catches local residents off guard. The city authorities try to downplay the impact of such strikes in the eyes of the public, however it is known for certain that Moscow airports, sometimes all four, are closed after each attack. This undoubtedly affects Russia’s military logistics as well.

Drone attacks on Russian oil facilities

31 May 2023

Drones have targeted Russian oil facilities in the Krasnodar Krai far from the Ukrainian border, including the Afipskiy Refinery, around 450 km away. Earlier, in Febraury 2023, UAVs targeted the Tuapse Refinery.

22 July 2023

Both an oil depot and Russian military warehouses near Simferopol were destroyed. Earlier, in April 2023, a drone struck a fuel storage tank in Sevastopol.

1 October

More recently, drones struck a fuel reservoir near Sochi Airport in September and a helicopter parking area in Sochi, around 550 km from Ukraine.

Ukraine’s naval drones target Russian positions 

24 May 2023

In May, Kyiv confirmed the use of naval drones in attacking the Ivan Khurs Russian reconnaissance ship near the Bosphorus Strait.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet’s Ivan Khurs reconnaissance ship. Photo: Defense Express

17 July 2023

Ukrainian forces once again attacked the Kerch Strait Bridge, this time with uncrewed surface vessels (USVs). The USVs blew up a significant portion of the bridge, causing serious disruptions to Russia’s supply logistics. 

21 September 2023

The Ukrainian naval forces successfully carried out a special operation causing serious damage to the Saky airfield in Crimea. Reports show that Ukrainian forces used drones to overwhelm Russian air defenses, then launched Neptune missiles at the intended targets.

22 September 2023

The Ukrainian Armed Forces launched a missile strike on the Sevastopol HQ of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The Russian Defense Ministry reported that the “historic Black Sea Fleet headquarters building was damaged,” with some sources claiming British-made Storm Shadow cruise missiles had been used in the attack. Before the missiles struck the building, the Russians claimed that their air defense system had shot down several drones.

12 and 13 October 2023

The explosions rocked at least three Russian ships, including the patrol ship Pavel Derzhavin, the military ship Buyan-M equipped with cruise missiles, and a tugboat. Sources from the BBC attribute both attacks to Kyiv.

Overall, Ukraine’s attacks in the Black Sea have been so successful that the Russian fleet has been forced to resort to guerilla tactics. Russian ships try to briefly venture into open waters, fire their weapons, and flee, but this does not always work. 

“The Russian Black Sea Fleet has been cornered in its ports. It barely leaves the harbor in Sevastopol, barricading itself behind booms reminiscent of WWI defenses. The Russians tried hiding in Novorossiysk too, but Ukraine reached them there as well. For now, the only relatively safe area for them is the Sea of Azov, and even that is temporary,” Ukrainian military expert Yevhen Dykyi told Euromaidan Press.

Ukrainian military expert Yevhen Dykyi. Photo: Yevhen Dykyi via FB

Kyrylo Budanov dismisses claims that the new strike capacity could lead to escalation or portray Ukraine as the aggressor. He asserts that his forces adhere to the rules of war, and there have been no civilian casualties in Russia. This outcome reflects Ukraine’s deliberate choice rather than capability constraints.

“No one believes the UK or US were the aggressors in the second World War, although they also bombed the territory of Germany,” he said.


War of drones: can Ukraine keep its asymmetric advantage?

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