The war in Ukraine has been a disaster for both Moscow and Kyiv and surely Russian President Putin’s biggest geopolitical blunder.
Putin’s grand miscalculation could even cost him his role as leader of Russia if he is not careful.
What happens now is anyone’s guess. But we do know this: social media will capture it all for us.
Putin Feels the ‘Pain’: Ukraine Footage Shows Kamikaze Drones Hitting Trenches
A second drone overhead recorded the strike.
The video was shared on Twitter by the open-source military intelligence analysts at OSINT Technical (@Osinttechnical).
What is notable about his particular attack is the precision with which the loitering munition is able to fly and level, then maneuver directly into a Russian bunker in the trench line.
Drone Attacks on Trenches
The exact location of the incident wasn’t identified, but both Russian and Ukrainian forces have dug in and built fortified positions throughout the Donbas region. These lines of trenches have been compared to the defensive positions along the Western Front in France and Belgium during the First World War. Further noteworthy is how drones and loitering munitions are now being employed to attempt to break those lines.
During what was then known as the “Great War,” each side utilized snipers, dropped various types of poison gas, and of course pounded enemy positions with artillery. Snipers and artillery are still being employed in this horrible conflict, but the 21st-century twist is of course one that military planners a century ago could have barely envisioned.
In fact, in many ways, the loitering munitions are becoming even more feared than those gas attacks or snipers were by the troops a century ago. Soldiers then had masks to protect from the gas, while the trenches were typically dug deep enough to limit what an enemy sniper could see.
By contrast, drones can now silently operate overhead and provide pinpoint precision for artillery strikes while the loitering munitions can literally fly to a target and then detonate. Moreover, the drones are able to strike with far greater precision than the primitive aircraft that were employed during World War I.
Ukraine’s Drone Combatants
The Ukrainian 59th Motorized Brigade, which was engaged in the conflict in Donbas against pro-Kremlin separatists even before Russia launched its unprovoked invasion, has become quite adept at utilizing drones in the region. The combat-hardened unit had fought in the Battle of Kherson last year and it is now engaged in the Battle of Bakhmut.
It has been one of the Ukrainian Army brigades that have also shared their exploits on social media.
Just last March, it utilized a combat FPV “kamikaze” drone to strike a Russian position, disabling a significant amount of Russian equipment in a village in the Donetsk region. A year ago, it also was among the first units to employ unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in a reconnaissance role to aid in artillery strikes.
Drones have greatly aided modern artillery, notably the Western-supplied 155mm howitzers, which can fire the M982 Excalibur extended-range guided artillery shell. The GPS and inertial-guided munition has a range of approximately 40 to 57 kilometers (25 to 35 mi) depending on configuration, with a circular error probable (CEP) of four meters (13 ft).
Such weapons allow the 59th Motorized Brigade to not only boast on social media but to remind all Ukrainians of its motto: “To Victory.”
Note: The video could be considered graphic to some and we have decided not to embed it.
You can watch it here, but viewer discretion is advised.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.