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Defense Express’ Weekly Review: Ukraine is the First in History to Strike russian Infrastructure Beyond Urals, The Black Sea Storm Damages Crimean Bridge Defenses

"Devil's Bridge" at the BAM / Open source photo
"Devil's Bridge" at the BAM / Open source photo
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Digest of Defense Express on the main events of the week

Ukraine is the First in History to Successfully Strike russian Infrastructure Beyond Urals

The Ukrainian secret services had sabotaged two essential railway lines deep in russia. Firstly, the Severomuysky tunnel of the Baikal–Amur Mainline (November 29 at around 5:20 p.m. local time), and then the Devil's Bridge, a backup detour. Known as a strategic alternative route to the Trans-Siberian Railway, the BAM is critically important for the country's logistics.

Read more: How Many Fighter Jets and Helicopters does russia Have at its Disposal?
Illustrative photo: entrance to the Severomuysky tunnel
Illustrative photo: entrance to the Severomuysky tunnel / Open source photo

How effective it was in the context of the ongoing war between russia and Ukraine, is a question yet to debate upon. The details of the operation are likely to remain secret for years to come.

"Devil's Bridge" at the BAM / Open source photo

The undisputed fact, though, is that Ukraine became the first country in history to land a successful blow beyond the Urals. As well as that, Ukrainian secret services manages to deceive the enemy and prepare for more strategic attacks on the russian federation.

Sevastopol Bay Under Such Heavy russian EW Cover It's Visible From Space

During Ukrainian drone attacks, the russian occupiers turn on very powerful electronic warfare systems that create "lens flares" on SAR satellite images.

Powerful electromagnetic interference results in intensely illuminated spots in SAR satellite images
Powerful electromagnetic interference results in intensely illuminated spots in SAR satellite images / Satellite image credit: European Space Agency

The extent of the russian federation's use of electronic warfare (EW) to safeguard its military assets is literally visible from space. Notably, SAR images reveal heightened EW activity primarily in Sevastopol, no similar luminance noise recorded in other places on the peninsula. It means russians have concentrated their most potent EW assets in Sevastopol specifically.

The Black Sea Storm Damages Crimean Bridge Defenses

Barriers that russians had prepared against Ukrainian naval drones was washed away near the Kerch Bridge during a storm.

Navigational barriers and barges that the enemy placed to protect the Crimean bridge were destroyed by a powerful storm that raged on November 26-27.

Satellite image of the Kerch bridge dated November 28, Defense Express
Satellite image of the Kerch bridge dated November 28 / Image credit: MT Anderson

Currently, the enemy is making every effort to restore the barriers, but in any case, this will take time, which opens a certain window of opportunity for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

There is a great window of opportunities for Ukrainian maritime drones, Defense Express
There is a great window of opportunities for Ukrainian maritime drones / screenshot from video

The Defense Intelligence of Ukraine Reveals that russia Rushes to Close Gap with Ukraine in One-Way Attack Drone Boats

The unmanned boat developed by KMZ is universal and can be used to perform various tasks. It has a cruising range of 600 km at low speeds; as the speed increases, the cruising range decreases, but it is possible to accelerate the boat to 80 km/h. When loaded with 600 kg of explosives, the boat can travel 200 km.

A russian GRK-700 Vizir drone at the Armiya-2023 expo
A russian GRK-700 Vizir drone at the Armiya-2023 expo / Open source photo

The boat has the ability to be modified for various tasks: attack naval drone, liquidator of such drones, delivery of troops and cargo. A batch of 10 unmanned boats is expected to be ready by the end of 2023.

The UK Defense Intelligence: russia Deploys Newly Formed Airborne Division to Ukraine

In August 2023, the Minister of Defense of russia Sergei Shoigu announced plans to re-establish 104 GAD, which was previously downsized to a smaller, brigade-sized formation in 1998. Its subordinate units likely include the 337th regiment, an additional manoeuvre regiment and the 52nd Artillery Brigade.

The russian Airborne Forces, Defense Express
The russian Airborne Forces / open source

The division is probably assembling in Kherson region, the UK Defense Intelligence reports.

Read more: Ukraine's Air Force Reveals the Number of Downed Kinzhal-47 Missiles and Why Allies Give Launchers, Not Entire Air Defense Systems