A Russian salvo of Iranian-made kamikaze drones was launched against Ukrainian targets for the first time in almost two weeks on Sunday, the UK Defense Ministry said in a Wednesday morning intelligence update.
The Ukrainian Military had reportedly shot down 11 out of 14 Shahed-136 drones launched on February 26, nine of which were downed in Kyiv airspace.
The drones were likely launched from the Bryansk Oblast in Russia, the UK Defense Ministry assessed, indicating that the Kremlin had established a new launch site to allow better access to Kyiv. Previously, it said that the only observed launch site had been in the Krasnodar region.
"Prior to this 26 February 2023 attack, there have not been any reports of OWA UAVs being used in Ukraine since around 15 February 2023," said the UK Defense Ministry. "This decrease in OWA UAV [one-way attack uncrewed aerial vehicles] attack tempo likely indicates that Russia has run down its current stock: It will likely seek a resupply."
Accentuating the renewed use of drones after the hiatus, at least five drones were shot down over the Poltava Oblast early Wednesday morning, acting governor Dmytro Lunin said on Telegram.
Barrages of drones and missiles had been used in unison against Ukraine by the Kremlin in recent months.
Russia changing use of cruise missiles
On Monday, the Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate (GUR) told RBC Ukraine that Russia was also changing its use of cruise missiles.
"First, they really learn from their mistakes. Secondly, they run out of not only high-precision missiles, but missile weapons in general," GUR representative Andriy Chernyak said to RBC Ukraine. While Russia still had thousands of missiles, they were using them faster than they could produce. "They can now produce no more than 30-40 rockets per month. The old missiles that they have in service either do not reach due to a malfunction, or have a limited radius of damage."