In a recent update from British intelligence as of September 10, 2023, concerning the ongoing Ukraine War, it has been reported that the governor of Russia’s Pskov Oblast, situated near the Estonian border, has taken a proactive approach to address the threat posed by uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs). This initiative comes in response to recent UAV attacks against the Kresty air base, which is located in the region. The governor has organized volunteer security patrols aimed at intercepting and preventing further attacks on critical infrastructure.
UAV Attacks on Kresty Air Base:
On August 29, 2023, the Kresty air base suffered damage when two IL-76 CANDID transport aircraft were reportedly targeted in a UAV attack. The limited range of quadcopter UAVs suggests that these attacks likely originated from within the Russian Federation, posing a unique security challenge.
Volunteer Security Patrols:
In response to these attacks, the governor of Pskov Oblast has taken steps to enhance security in the region. Volunteer security patrols have been organized, and it is reported that as many as 800 citizens have signed up to participate. These patrols will be divided into groups of 50 and deployed across various municipalities, focusing on border areas and critical infrastructure, with a particular emphasis on airports and airbases.
Deterrence and Defense:
The creation of these volunteer security patrols serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it is likely to act as a deterrence against further UAV attacks launched from the vicinity of the air base. Secondly, it provides an additional layer of defense against quadcopter UAVs. Historically, it has been challenging to neutralize UAV threats using small-arms fire, emphasizing the need for more sophisticated air defense systems with surveillance capabilities and both kinetic and electronic means of interception to effectively counter such attacks.
Shortage of Trained Security Personnel:
One notable aspect of this initiative is the reliance on volunteers, which suggests a potential shortage of trained security personnel within Russia. This highlights the severity of the UAV threat and the urgency with which regional authorities are responding to it.
The British intelligence report provides insight into the evolving security landscape in Russia’s Pskov Oblast, particularly in response to the threat posed by UAV attacks on the Kresty air base. The organization of volunteer security patrols reflects the seriousness of the situation and the need for immediate action to safeguard critical infrastructure. As the conflict in Ukraine continues, it is clear that new challenges, such as UAV threats, are shaping the strategies and responses of regional authorities and military forces.