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Russia may use additional launch pads: Britain's intelligence on drone attacks on Ukraine

Occupants expand the geography of Shahed drones launch padses

During the attack on December 12, Russian forces launched at least 15 kamikaze drones from the area of Balaklava in temporarily occupied Sevastopol. This new Shahed launch pad is the fifth location from which enemy drones have taken off to strike Ukraine.

Russia is deliberately increasing the number of locations for launching drones both to protect them from Ukrainian attacks and to complicate the work of Ukrainian air defense forces, which are forced to adapt to the new drone routes. The details were reported by the UK Ministry of Defense, citing British intelligence.

During the drone attack, which Russian troops carried out on December 12, the occupiers launched at least 15 drones from a new location, Balaklava, in the southern part of Sevastopol.

Russia may use additional launch pads: Britain's intelligence on drone attacks on Ukraine

This is the second known launch site for Iranian kamikaze drones from the temporarily occupied Crimea. Previously, Shahed drones were launched from the peninsula mainly from Cape Chauda in eastern Crimea: the occupiers complained that it was one of the targets of the Ukrainian attack on the peninsula on December 5. Back then, the occupiers claimed, they allegedly managed to neutralize 41 Ukrainian UAVs aimed at Russian military infrastructure.

Russia may use additional launch pads: Britain's intelligence on drone attacks on Ukraine

The British Ministry of Defense emphasized that the occupiers have been actively launching kamikaze drones from Cape Chauda since September 2023. Now they are expanding the "geography" of the Shahed drones' launch pads.

"Now Balaklava is the fifth confirmed launch site for kamikaze drones used in Russian operations against Ukraine, along with points on Cape Chauda, in Yeysk, Primorsko-Akhtarsk and Kursk. Russia is likely to disperse its drone launch capabilities across multiple locations to both protect its forces and complicate Ukraine's air defense efforts," the British defense ministry said.

They also added that additional launch sites will not only confuse the Ukrainian Defense Forces when planning attacks on the peninsula but will also complicate the work of Ukrainian air defense, which will have to adapt to the new drone routes.

As a reminder, on the night of December 13, air defense forces destroyed 10 ballistic missiles and 10 Shahed drones: the defenders of the skies over Ukraine neutralized all air targets.

The enemy directed the missiles at Kyiv, where houses and private cars caught fire due to the falling debris of the downed missiles. The debris also damaged the buildings of a kindergarten, a hospital and a morgue. More than 50 people were injured, including children.

Nine out of ten enemy drones were destroyed in the Odesa region. However, the wreckage of one drone fell on a port infrastructure building in the Odesa district and the territory of a municipal car repair facility in the regional center. In the latter case, the fire damaged or partially destroyed several cars and a hangar. Two employees were injured: both men were hospitalized, one in serious condition and the other in moderate condition.

The tenth enemy drone was destroyed over the Khmelnytskyi region: no damage or casualties were reported.

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