OSINT: Ukrainian Drone Took Inland Approach To Attack Russian Navy Headquarters At Sevastopol
Sevastopol harbour, the main naval base for Russia’s Black Sea fleet (BSF) has, until now, been largely unaffected by the sharp end of the Ukraine War. There had been an air defense launch early in the war and a drone attack on the navy headquarters in July. But these felt like isolated incidents. Russian tourists still flocked to its beaches and residents casually strolled along the quayside.
The past week or so has seen Ukraine bring the war to Crimea. A series of dramatic attacks has sent the tourists into a panic. Sevastopol's nights look and sounds like Baghdad in 1991.
And on August 20 another drone attack hit the navy headquarters in broad daylight. It was witnessed by the residents. Interestingly, the drone approached from inland. I.e. not from the direction of Ukrainian controlled territory.
Weaponized Commercial Drone
The drone appears to have been a commercially sourced type used in a kamikaze mode. Probably a Chinese model such as the Skyeye 5000mm:
This would be consistent with other attacks such as the attack on the Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery, Rostov, at 8:40am local time on June 22.
Inland Approach To Navy Headquarters
Analysis of videos of the drone as it approached its target show that it came from the east. One video was taken very close to impact. Geolocation of the buildings in the video as well as the lighting show this.
The Russians’ will already be aware of this. As will the eye witnesses. But from afar we have to look for clues to arrive at the obvious. Except it’s not obvious. This means that it didn’t approach from the direction of The sea.
Sevastopol is defended by layered air deference. These include aircraft, S-400 missiles and Pantsir close-in defenses. The S-400, considered a highly capable system, has recently been redeployed from its regular operating base on the headland west of the Harbor entrance. Based on analysis of videos of air-defense launches, some possible locations have been identified. However there is anyway S400 near Sevastopol at 44.705831°, 33.598848°.
It’s exact route and where it was launched from can only be speculated at. And what this means for Russia's defenders, ... an analysis for another time.
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