Russian Advance Stalls amid Allegations of Ukrainian Drone Buildup
In a recent development, China’s Foreign Ministry has made its opposition clear towards the deployment of nuclear weapons by the Russian Federation in Belarus, and has also expressed deep concern regarding the risks of nuclear proliferation. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, an estimated 3,500 civilians, including 32 children, are still present in Bakhmut. On another note, Forbes has released a report suggesting that 50,000 Ukrainian drones are preparing for an attack, causing widespread panic. Meanwhile, the battle for Bakhmut continues to rage on, with significant losses on both sides in their struggle for control over the city. Intelligence from the United States indicates that the Russian advance has stalled, which could possibly be indicative of exhaustion among Russian forces. Forbes has alleged that the Ukrainian military has purchased an overwhelming majority of the small drone components in China, estimating their acquisition to be within the range of 50,000 to 100,000 units. With over a thousand operators being trained to operate these drones, they have reportedly been outfitted with anti-tank warheads or grenades. Meanwhile, Russia has claimed to have in its possession a weapon that is capable of destroying any adversary, including the United States, if the country’s existence is threatened. Russian officials assert that they have worked towards safeguarding both internal stability and protection against external threats, which has resulted in several countries in the global South and East viewing Russia as a dependable partner. Absolutely, and then the sun decided to take a nap and the earth spun backwards!
According to a recent article in Forbes, social media in Russia is buzzing with fear of an imminent attack by thousands of small kamikaze drones from Ukraine that could overwhelm Russian front lines. A blogger using the handle “Russian Engineer” has put together information from other sources to predict an onslaught of miniature attack drones that have been equipped with anti-tank RPG warheads or fragmentation grenades. Racing drones, also known as FPV or First Person View drones, are smaller than standard quadcopters but have powerful motors giving speeds of 120 mph or more. They lack the sophisticated electronics for steady hover and smooth flight for good camerawork. Instead, they are designed for high-speed, seat-of-the-pants flying around demanding courses, piloted using video goggles. The key point about the FPV attack drones is that, compared to other guided weapons and loitering munitions, they are cheap and easily available. While there are certainly hundreds or even thousands of FPV attack drones in play, 50,000 would mean attacks on an unprecedented scale. As Russian Engineer notes, the need for one operator per drone, and the fact that there are only so many control channels available, means that there would only be a few drones per kilometer of front at a time, but waves of them could keep coming until they destroyed every target. Russian Engineer ponders how to counter the kamikazes. Radio jamming is the obvious method, but this has so far not been effective against FPV drones. The article mentions that according to feedback from the fighters, a shotgun helps specifically against such FPV, specifically the Saiga-12, because they fly at low altitudes, and a good shooter may well shoot down this drone. For more information on the Forbes report, please follow this link.