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Russia has five drone launch sites, there may be more - UK intelligence

Russia has five drone launch sites, there may be more - UK intelligence Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Russia deploys Shahed kamikaze drones over Ukraine from five launch sites, with the possibility of expanding such locations, according to the UK Ministry of Defense.

The UK intelligence reminds that on December 12, Russia launched at least 15 Shahed One Way Attack Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (OWA-UAV) from the Balaklava district of Crimea. This is a new OWA-UAV launch site to the south of Sevastopol.

Russians have been using Cape Chauda in Crimea for Shahed launches since September 2023. On December 5, occupiers claimed to have intercepted 41 drones in the Crimea region, particularly near Cape Chauda.

British intelligence notes that Balaklava is now the fifth confirmed OWA UAV launch site being used in Russian operations against Ukraine alongside the sites at Cape Chauda, Yeysk, Primorsko-Akhtarsk, and Kursk.

Intelligence suggests that Russia may decentralize its drone launch capabilities across multiple locations to complicate the Ukrainian air defense efforts.

"Russia will likely use additional launch sites in response to Ukrainian attacks, forcing Ukraine to adapt to new transit corridors of these systems," the statement says.

Nighttime attacks on Ukraine

As reported by the Ukrainian Air Force, last night, occupying forces launched 10 Shahed drones from the Balaklava region (Crimea) over Ukraine. All drones were successfully shot down. Most of them landed in the Odesa region, with air defense systems also operating in the Khmelnytskyi region.

In Odesa, debris from an enemy drone fell onto the territory of a municipal auto repair enterprise, causing a fire that has since been extinguished. Two workers at the enterprise were injured in the attack. In the Odesa region, debris from another downed drone damaged a building in the port infrastructure.

Additionally, Russian occupiers attacked Kyiv with missiles. The President's Office emphasizes that these were 48N6 missiles launched by Russians from the S-400 air defense system. The target of the occupiers was likely a critical infrastructure object.

Due to the falling missile debris, there is damage in at least three areas. According to the latest information, 53 people were injured in the attack, including children.