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UK intelligence names targets of Russian drone attacks on Ukraine

UK intelligence names targets of Russian drone attacks on Ukraine RBC-Ukraine collage
Author: Maria Kholina

The recent airstrikes on Ukraine have targeted industrial sites, with Moscow predominantly opting for kamikaze drones unlike last year, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.

Throughout February 2024, Russia conducted a campaign using UAVs against Ukrainian infrastructure, including power facilities.

Ukrainian air defense forces managed to shoot down some drones, but Russia's strikes likely inflicted damage on Ukrainian power plants and substations. These attacks occurred across Ukraine, causing harm to regional energy infrastructure, particularly in the Donetsk, Dnipro regions, and as far west as Lviv.

According to British intelligence, the Russian attacks were likely carried out using a combination of kamikaze drones, surface-to-surface missile systems, and conventional rocket artillery, rather than long-range aviation assets as seen in 2022 and 2023.

"It is likely that Russia has sought to target regional power facilities to degrade industrial activities in Ukraine. Despite these attacks, Ukraine’s power network is maintaining stable network operations," writes the UK Ministry of Defence.

Winter 2023-2024

Before the start of the heating season, representatives of the Ukrainian government warned about a difficult winter. However, unlike last year, there were no mass power outages this year.

According to the estimates of the National Bank of Ukraine, the electricity deficit in the fourth quarter was only about 3%, which is less than previous expectations (5%). The deficit was mostly local and was almost entirely compensated by electricity imports, so it did not have an additional negative impact on economic activity.

The National Bank of Ukraine expects a slight electricity deficit in Ukraine until the end of the heating season. In the future, due to repairs and the delivery of new equipment, no electricity deficit is expected.

At the same time, the Ukrainian state energy company Ukrenergo advises "not to relax", as the enemy may attack the energy system not only in winter.