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Euromaidan Press
16 Dec 2023
Alya Shandra

Ukraine downs 30 of 31 Shahed drones in night attack, many with machine guns

Russia recently started painting the drones black to make them harder to shoot down by small firearms, but this is proving to be ineffective
UKrainian soldiers down shahed kamikaze drones
UKrainian soldiers down Shahed kamikaze drones. Photo: Ukraine’ General Staff

In the late hours against 16 December, Russia directed 31 Shahed suicide drones towards Ukraine, Ukraine’s General Staff stated. Ukraine’s anti-aircraft defense shot down 30 hostile UAVs, and half of those in the north of the country were downed by Ukrainian troops using machine guns and man-portable air defense systems.

Attacks by the enemy began in the evening of 15 December and lasted until the morning. For the sixth time this month, Russians terrorized Kyiv: drones attacked the capital in groups, in waves, and from different directions.

The Kyiv City Military Administration added that as a result of anti-aircraft defense operations and debris falls, no one in the city was injured.

Lieutenant General Serhii Nayev stated that in the direction of Kyiv and Chernihiv, Ukrainian anti-aircraft gunners shot down 14 enemy drones, and eight of them were hit using machine guns and MANPADS – a cheap, although complicated, way to destroy the UAVs.

Recently, Russia started painting their Shahed kamikaze drones black to make them harder to shoot down for mobile fire units armed with small firearms and needing a visual lock to engage. However, this has proved mostly ineffective, as Ukraine’s night results reveal.

According to the Air Force, all 30 Shaheds were shot down within Dnipropetrovsk, Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Chernihiv, Sumy, Poltava, Cherkasy, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv and Khmelnytskyi oblasts.

The drones were launched from three directions: Primorsko-Akhtarsk, Sescha, and Kursk in the Russian Federation.