Russia intercepted and destroyed 22 Ukrainian drones over the Black Sea during the past 24 hours, while its air defenses destroyed more than 4,000 Ukrainian drones since the beginning of the war, Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said on Sunday.
“Air defenses detected 22 Ukrainian attack unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs] over the Black Sea last night. All the drones were suppressed by electronic warfare and destroyed by missile systems,” Konashenkov said.
This comes as drone warfare intensifies between Moscow and Kyiv, with both sides using UAVs to strike the heartland of the other side, usually targeting vital infrastructure. However, Kyiv does not publicly or officially claim the drone attacks Moscow accuses it of launching.
Most notably, Russia claimed that a Ukrainian drone attack that targeted the Kremlin was an attempt to kill President Vladimir Putin and that it was launched based on US orders. Kyiv and Washington both deny the Russian claim.
Moreover, in recent months, the frequency of drone attacks has increased. Russia has claimed that Ukraine launched dozens of drone attacks against targets within Russian-held territories and inside Crimea – which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. The targets have included oil facilities, airfields and energy infrastructure.
Military analyst and former Chief of Executive Staff at Germany’s ministry of defense Nico Lange said on Twitter last week that the drone attacks such as the ones which targeted large fuel depots in Sevastopol and destroyed the Russian ammunition depots in occupied parts of southern and eastern Ukraine served to “weaken the Russian supplies” ahead of a Ukrainian counteroffensive.