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New russian Tactic: Assault Groups Inside Anti-Drone Cocoons

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russian infantry moves out on offensive, while covered in the "anti-drone cocoons," December 2023 / Open source photo
russian infantry moves out on offensive, while covered in the "anti-drone cocoons," December 2023 / Open source photo

The threat of this tactic is twofold: it's aimed to deceive the drones and avert the attention of the infantry

Today, on December 2nd, information has surfaced indicating russian invasion forces are trying out a new tactic of action in an assault group, witnessed during an attack on a position held by one of the Ukrainian Armed Forces brigades.

The scenario unfolded with one assault group initiating a frontal attack on Ukrainian defenders, only to reveal that it was a diversionary maneuver. Simultaneously, another assault group attempted to approach from the flank, they were crawling while being covered by what seemed to be an anti-drone cocoon or cape.

Read more: ISW: Worsening Weather Conditions Slow Down the Pace of Military Operations in Ukraine

The russians under the heat-insulating "cocoons" were not visible in the thermal imager, a feature usually present in reconnaissance UAVs of operational level. On top of that, they chose a moment for attack, when adverse weather conditions limited the Ukrainians' ability to use drones.

Interestingly, there were no reports of any armored vehicles to support the innovative russian assault. That could mean russians are still testing out this tactic.

While the russian army is constantly trying to refine new tactics for assault groups, utilizing special equipment, Ukrainian forces need to be especially vigilant and adaptive, Ukrainian frontline bloggers call on their comrades on the web, as they share photos of today's unusual case.

Blogger CorvaxForst on the new russian tactics
Blogger @CorvaxForst on the new russian tactics. Click to visit the source. *Note by Defense Express

On the part of Defense Express, we should note that the use of thermal camouflage by the russians was initially disclosed in April 2023. While russian military bloggers discussed this technology extensively, its active deployment on the battlefield had not been documented until this recent incident.

Also, in October 2023, Ukraine started producing own thermal camouflage, and in a dedicated article we even compared it to the russian analogs and dived into how it works and if it's actually effective.

Ukrainian soldiers in the view of a thermal imager during a test of the new thermal camouflage
Ukrainian soldiers in the view of a thermal imager during a test of the new thermal camouflage / Still image credit: Mykhailo Fedorov, Minister for Digital Transformation of Ukraine on X (Twitter)
Read more: Ukraine Makes Anti-Heat Camouflage Suits to Hide From russian Thermal Imagers: How It Works and How Effective it is