Russia uses the new ones in Ukraine domestically produced Italmas drones, lighter, cheaper and more difficult to detect than the Iranian Shahed ones, while on the battlefield, Ukraine resists the advance of Russian forces in the northeast of Avdivka, causing heavy casualties.
The Italmas was presented last September by the Russian company ZALA Aero and is powered by a two-stroke engine.
Has a range of more than 200 kilometersand can penetrate into the Ukrainian rear, as it is difficult to detect and shoot down.
Various Russian media, such as Mash and Slowhave shown videos with its supposed first use in Ukraine last Monday, although at the moment the Russian Ministry of Defense has not confirmed its use.
“The Italmas drones could be part of a broader ammunition diversification effort,” reported the American Institute for War Studies (ISW) in its daily report.
A new threat to infrastructure
According to the study center, with the new drone Russia tries to “diversify its arsenal of drones, missiles and guided bombs for attacks against critical Ukrainian infrastructure.”
It is, according to the ISW, a “cheaper and lighter domestically produced” alternative to the Iranian Shahed drones, used during the last winter season to destroy the Ukrainian energy system.
Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky on Wednesday acknowledged the risk of new waves of Russian attacks against the country’s critical infrastructure and said that Ukraine “will not only defend itself, but will respond,” referring to the recent use of US long-range ATACMS missiles. against Russian targets. “The enemy knows it. “First they withdrew the fleet from Crimea, now they are moving their aviation as far as possible from our borders,” he stated on Telegram.
For its part, Russia reported this Wednesday for the first time the downing of two ATACMS missiles by its air defense systems, similar to those that attacked Russian military airfields located more than eighty kilometers from the front in the middle of the month.
Tense situation on the front lines
Meanwhile, the situation on the front remains tense, Zelensky warned, noting: “In Kupiansk and Avdivka the fighting is tough, but our soldiers maintain their positions.”
The most intense fighting is taking place around Avdivka, in the eastern region of Donetskwhich Russian troops are trying to encircle and would have achieved “confirmed advances” by geolocated images, according to the ISW.
This is an expensive advance: the Frontelligence Insight platform team – which analyzes intelligence data through open sources – reported that More than 109 destroyed Russian combat vehicles can be seen in satellite images.
This points, he affirms, to the fact that “In a week and a half Russia lost a brigade”although the actual losses could be “considerably higher.”
According to military expert Sergey Grabsky, Ukrainian forces “are forced to retreat in some parts under pressure from enemy forces, which are not only larger, but significantly larger,” military expert Sergei Grabsky told Ukrainian television.
Given the “worsening of the situation” in this sector of the front, the Minister of the Interior, Igor Klimenko, urged the civilians who still remain in Avdivka, nearly 1,000, to evacuate.
“It is mortally dangerous to remain there, because “Russian missiles destroy houses every day and bury civilians under rubble.”he wrote on Telegram.
(With information from EFE)