British officials said Sunday that a drone strike that heavily damaged at least two military cargo aircraft at a Russian air base near the Estonian border last week was almost certainly launched from within Russia because of the drones’ limited range.
The governor of Russia’s Peskov Oblast organized volunteer security patrols to interdict uncrewed aerial vehicles targeting Kresty air base following the Aug. 29 attack that damaged two IL-76 CANDID transport aircraft. At least 800 people have signed up to join the effort, which will focus on border areas and critical infrastructure such as airports, UK military intelligence officials said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“The creation of these volunteer security patrols will likely act as a deterrence and provide a level of defense against quadcopter UAVs being operated from the immediate vicinity of the air base,” British officials said.
The use of volunteer patrols likely indicates a shortage of trained security personnel within Russia. Knocking out UAVs using small-arms fire is difficult, so Russian forces will still require air defense systems to destroy attacking drones, British officials said.