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Significant Ukrainian drone attack targets a depot in Crimea under control of Russia

In a series of strategic operations, Ukrainian forces have intensified their use of drone strikes against critical infrastructure in Russian-occupied territories and border areas, marking a significant shift in tactics aimed at disrupting Russian military efforts and energy supplies.
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FPV pilos from the Rubizh Brigarde in Ukraine (Picture source: Ukrainian MoD)

On the nights of March 2 to March 3, a significant drone attack targeted an oil depot in Feodosia, Crimea, a territory under Russian control since 2014. Despite claims from the Russian Ministry of Defense that all 38 launched drones were intercepted, independent reports suggest that at least one drone successfully damaged an oil pipeline at the depot, with additional footage indicating explosions near the site.

This operation is part of Ukraine's broader strategy to limit the operational capabilities of the Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF) in the war effort. Observations by Ukrainian Navy officials indicate that Russian warships have faced restrictions in their operational areas in the western and southwestern Black Sea, rarely venturing south of Crimea. The challenges faced by the Russian fleet are further compounded by losses of warships and difficulties in commissioning new ships, as highlighted by the malfunction of the small missile ship Amur during testing.

The scope of Ukrainian drone operations extends beyond Crimea, with an attack on an oil depot in the Russian border region of Belgorod, which set a fuel tank on fire. This incident is part of a concerted three-month campaign by Kyiv targeting Russian energy infrastructure, described as "fair" retaliation against Moscow's use of similar facilities to fuel its invasion efforts. The strike in the village of Dolgoye, near the border, underscores the growing reach and impact of Ukrainian drone capabilities.

Furthermore, Ukrainian artillery has also been active, with strikes in the neighboring Kursk region causing a fire at a train station and power outages in the vicinity. The regional governor confirmed these incidents, noting the absence of casualties but highlighting the disruption to local infrastructure and the subsequent emergency response efforts.

Additionally, Ukrainian drones targeted the city of Voronezh, leading to the declaration of an air alert by local authorities. The Russian Ministry of Defense acknowledged the downing of drones over Belgorod and Kursk, evidencing the ongoing aerial threat posed by Ukrainian operations.

These developments signify a notable escalation in Ukrainian military strategy, leveraging drone technology to strike at key Russian infrastructure and military assets. The concerted efforts to disrupt Russian energy supplies and naval operations underscore the strategic importance of these attacks in the broader context of the conflict, with both sides adapting to the evolving dynamics of warfare.

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