On August 29, in the early morning hours, hordes of Ukrainian drones flew over seven different regions of Russia. Some were not intercepted, while others were.
A few of them made it to a Russian airbase in Pskov, about 600 kilometers from the Ukrainian border. Where they damaged two and destroyed two military transport planes.
It was the most striking illustration yet of the 18-month conflict’s new facet. Ukraine’s growing desire to expand the fight onto Russian territory.
Russia Invasion of Ukraine
The toolset includes aerial and maritime drones, enigmatic new missiles, and sabotage organizations. Russian airfields, air defenses, and shipping are among the objectives.
There are several grounds for Ukraine to escalate the fight.
A win is a win no matter where or when it happens, whether it involves destroying aircraft at a faraway Russian airbase. Interfering with shipping and commercial aviation, alarmed Russian border region civilians, or weakening Russian air defenses in Crimea.
Evidence of retaliation (even if it is on a much smaller scale) is a nice morale booster for Ukrainians who have endured unending drone and missile bombardment, especially while the counteroffensive in the south is still lagging behind.
As recently as last week, President Volodymr Zelensky said, “The war is returning to the territory of Russia – to its symbolic centers and military bases, and this is an inevitable, natural, and absolutely fair process.”
Attacks that occur far from the existing battle lines show that Ukraine’s ability to project power is developing.
That projection purposefully does not rely on Western weaponry but rather on local technological and tactical modifications. Oleksiy Reznikov, the defense minister, and president Volodymyr Zelensky have repeatedly reassure Western donors that their weaponry won’t be use against targets within Russia since Moscow would see that as an act of aggression and they would then become parties to the battle.