Russia has increased its drone attacks against Ukraine in order to keep up its campaign against Ukrainian critical infrastructure in the face of a depleting stock of precision missiles, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update.
"The Russian military’s use of 39 drones in the past two days, its use of 30 Shahed 131 and -136 drones on the night of Dec. 18 and 19, and its use of 13 Shahed drones on Dec. 14 represent a significant increase in its recent use of these systems in Ukraine," the ISW wrote.
Russia attacked Ukraine with 16 Iranian-made Shahed drones overnight on Dec. 30, Ukraine’s Air Force reported. Ukraine’s air defense downed all of the drones, which were launched at Ukraine from the north and southeast of the country.
The ISW noted that Ukrainian air defenses have recently proven to be highly effective at shooting down Shahed drones and "the Russian military’s use of these systems in attacks against civilian targets in rear areas is having diminishing impacts."
The Russian military will likely continue with its drone attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine, "in its misguided attempt to break the Ukrainian will to fight," the ISW wrote.