Ukrainians Train in Secret Camps up North to Intercept Drones: Report

  • Russia’s air offensive has been an impediment to Ukraine’s counteroffensive. 
  • Ukrainian soldiers are training to shoot at drones without the help of Western weaponry. 
  • On Saturday, Russia launched its largest drone attack since the beginning of the war.

Ukrainian soldiers are preparing to face Russian drones without the help of Western weapons in training centers hidden away in the northern part of Ukraine, ABC News reported.

At the northern training center, Ukrainian soldiers in training target drones that mimic Shahed drones, which are made in Iran, with dated Soviet-era antiaircraft weapons and machine guns.

The focus on training with various weaponry comes in the face of a “resource war” between Russia and Ukraine, Lt. Gen. Serhii Nayev, who heads Ukraine’s northern border defense, told the outlet.

The goal is to ensure that Western air defense systems — expensive and harder to come by — are an infrequently used last resort.

The consideration comes at a time when a US-aid package to Ukraine sits in Congress as military support to the country becomes less popular among hard-right Republicans. The aid package, which is also tied to funding for Israel, is also being scrutinized by left-wing Democrats.

“It must be understood that the reduction of aid will really hit our defense capabilities,” Nayev said. “But we will fight with what we have.”

As Ukraine continues its counteroffensive in the southern part of the region, Russia has been ramping up its use of drones to wipe out troops. According to Ukrainian intelligence, Russia has launched 800 drones in the past two months, ABC News reported. The strategy aims to take advantage of the country’s lean air defense systems, the Washington Post previously reported.

Russia’s most advantageous drone weaponry are its Lancets, which are lightweight loitering munitions that crash and explode into targets. The drones have been effective in putting a dent in Ukraine’s efforts to push back against Russian advances.

Russia has also been using Shahed-136 drones, loitering munitions made by Iran, and creating its own cheaply-made drones to overwhelm Ukrainian air defenses. Meanwhile, Russians have also been targeting Ukrainian drones and jamming their systems, making them inoperable.

On Saturday, Russia launched its largest drone strike on Kyiv since the start of the war, injuring five and setting a Kindergarten on fire.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense said 75 drones manufactured by Iranian company Oje Parvaz Mado Nafar were sent on the night of November 25, and troops shot down 71 drones.

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