In July, Ukrainian security forces utilized an experimental naval drone to shoot at a bridge in Russia-occupied Crimea. The incident, which killed two people and knocked out traffic lanes, should be seen as a warning that such attacks are possible in the future.
The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) publicly took credit for the operation, saying the Sea Baby drone was created months after the invasion. Recent SBU drone strikes on the Crimean Bridge, the vast assault ship Olengorskiy Gornyak, and the SIG tanker all succeeded.
CNN was given a video of the July assault by the SBU, which showed the view from the pilot’s cockpit just before the Sea Baby detonated its explosives at a bridge pillar. The service gave two CCTV recordings, one showing the impact of a drone on the roadway and the other showing the effect of a drone explosion on the railway roadway about five minutes later and from the other direction.
Ukraine has been slow to publicly condemn the strikes, instead opting for covert methods like anonymous remarks and allusions to “unidentified floating objects” to prove its participation. Maliuk’s unusually forthright effort to warn Moscow about the danger these new drones present is exemplified by his frank claim of guilt. He claimed credit for the first Ukrainian assault on the bridge on October 8 and voiced enthusiasm for future operations, including those in the Black Sea. The attack’s details point to a moving vehicle on the bridge as the likely source of the explosion; however, this is not certain.
According to Maliuk and his co-leader, Naval Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa, the drone strike in July was the culmination of months of preparation and coordination between many units of the Ukrainian Navy. Despite their interest in Ukraine’s activities and willingness to learn from their experience, he said that Ukraine’s Western allies do not take part in its operations or provide it with equipment. The drones are made at a secret Ukrainian plant and are lawfully targeted in that country and others worldwide.