Ukraine Drones Target Russian Civilians In "Psychological" Terror, With Help From West: The Economist

In a surprisingly blunt admission for a major mainstream outlet which tends to be cozy with US national security insiders, The Economist has admitted that Ukraine's ramped-up drone strikes on Russian territory has really been all about terrorizing civilians... well, it's an implicit admission at least.

A new report published Sunday and entitled "Inside Ukraine’s drone war against Putin" - spells out that a chief reason for the increased drone attacks has been to intensify the "psychological impact" of the war for "ordinary Russians".

Via Reuters

After listing a series of recent significant drone operations in Crimea and Russia proper, which has frequently reached cities like Moscow, The Economist writes, "The drone campaign is being stepped up now for a number of reasons."

Top among the reasons? The publication asserts...

The headline-making strikes on Moscow are intended to have a psychological impact, bringing ordinary Russians closer to the reality of war

Interestingly, there's also an admission later in the report that Ukraine's military is receiving targeting help from the West, which includes the United States:

They gather intelligence (often from Western partners) about radars, electronic warfare and air-defense assets. Russia cannot lock down the entirety of its vast territory. “If you can scuttle past 60km of jamming stations on the border, you are in the Russian hinterlands and it’s game on,” says the Morok source. About 35-40% of drones make it through to the general vicinity of the target. Feedback about a strike’s success is compiled from satellites, tracking devices, social-media reports and local agents.

Unusually, Ukraine’s drone programme has no single command or procurement structure. Several state organisations, including all the intelligence agencies, have their own drone programmes. Freelance developers are also in the mix.

The past weeks have seen several instances of drones slamming into downtown Moscow buildings, and in some instances causing damage to residences in apartment blocks, especially in the border Belgorod region (the latter which has experienced casualties due to the Ukrainian strikes).

Drone attacks on Moscow have been happening since early May...

Moscow's two major airports have also been forced to temporarily halt all flight traffic on several occasions of late. Last week, there were inbound Ukrainian drones in or around the Russian capital of six days straight, but most were said to be brought down by Russian anti-air defenses and countermeasures.

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