Posted 20 сентября 2023,, 12:29

Published 20 сентября 2023,, 12:29

Modified 20 сентября 2023,, 12:57

Updated 20 сентября 2023,, 12:57

Sochi — under drone strike: why didn't the air defense and warning system work?

Sochi — under drone strike: why didn't the air defense and warning system work?

20 сентября 2023, 12:29
A Ukrainian drone hit the oil depot of the airport in Adler. There was no notification of the UAV attack for the public. After a year and a half of fighting in Ukraine and about 600 drone attacks on objects in Russia, activists have created several applications notifying citizens. And where is the system for the country?

Elena Petrova, Natalia Seibil

Today, a Ukrainian drone attacked Sochi for the first time. A kamikaze drone crashed into a tank with diesel fuel at a fuel depot at Adler airport, after which the tank caught fire, a fire started. It is not the first time that fuel bases have become the target of Ukrainian UAVs, but for the first time a drone has hit the airport infrastructure. It is difficult to assume that an airport like Adler does not have electronic warfare and air defense systems. But the defense was breached. This news is unpleasant for everyone who came to Sochi to relax in the velvet season. Many preferred this Black Sea resort to Crimea, where drone attacks occur almost on a daily basis. But it turned out that the Black Sea has become unsafe everywhere.

Experts say that if a penny drone is flying, then no economy will allow you to spend missiles on it, the cost of which is measured in millions of dollars. Denis Fedutinov, a leading expert in the field of unmanned systems, head of the information and analytical center «New Technologies» believes that from the point of view of the military budget, it is possible to withstand even prolonged attacks. But everything changes if such drones hit strategic targets:

— It is necessary to understand what threats this drone carries. If it goes to the oil storage, the damage can be significant. Here we need a balance of understanding the cost of countermeasures and the cost of possible damage. War in many — economy. Who will offer the most effective means of destruction and the most effective means of counteraction.

The difficulty is that small drones are difficult to detect, especially at a sufficient distance from the target, so systematic approaches are needed here. Air defense systems are not designed initially to combat such targets. Drones fly at low and ultra-low altitudes, use terrain and fly in such a way that there is very little time left to detect them. There is only one way out, Denis Fedutinov believes:

— I think it is necessary to develop comprehensive means of defense, which would include a variety of solutions related to both detection and defeat of drones. Moreover, realizing that reliance on traditional means, as a rule, are air defense means associated with kinetic impact, in general, of course, when scaling to cover larger objects, large territories, this becomes an expensive solution. Therefore, it is necessary to search for alternative, less costly ways.


The Ministry of Emergency Situations does not have a drone attack alert system

Adler residential buildings are located 4 km from the airport. The center of Sochi is 32 km away, but the road also leads through city blocks. There was no notification of residents about the drone attack, not to mention vacationers. Why?

The Ministry of Emergency Situations can notify citizens about fires, natural disasters, floods, but emergency fighters are powerless before UAV attacks. As reported by «NI», approximately such an answer was received by the deputy of the Moscow City Duma Yevgeny Stupin after the drone attack on Moscow in May of this year.

«Due to the fact that information about the attack on the Kremlin on May 3, 2023, was received by the CUKS of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia in Moscow during the direct fall or after the fall of drones, the signal „ATTENTION EVERYONE!"it was impractical, » the deputy from the Ministry of Emergency Situations replied.

Readers in the comments expressed doubt that the Ministry of Emergency Situations should be responsible for such a system. The orderly wrote:

«What does the Ministry of Emergency Situations have to do with it? The military should keep track of everything and transmit it to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, and since the military only finds out during an attack, then what is the demand from the Ministry of Emergency Situations.»

Let's hit the drones with the app!

Public services actively advertise the development of the «Popular Front» «Radar». It is there that Russians are advised to report dangerous flying objects. «You can avoid the consequences of possible attacks, » comes from Public services.

But the main purpose of this application is not to inform and warn citizens about the danger, but to encourage them to warn the state about dangerous objects that citizens themselves will detect.

At the end of August, it became known that there is no drone warning system even in the capital. Deputies of the Fair Russia — For Truth faction proudly reported that the authorities are developing a «Moscow Security Dome». Deputy head of the faction Dmitry Gusev said:

«Drone attacks have already become an integral part of our lives. Yes, the air defense system works, but we must use all possible means to protect Muscovites. The authorities have already adopted some of our proposals. For example, the idea of the „Moscow Dome of Security“. It is planned to build special facilities to protect the capital from drones, the Radar application has been launched, with which you can signal the emergency services about suspicious objects, personalities and actions. But the residents themselves should not stay away»

The same faction is going to introduce new laws on the responsibility of citizens. We are talking about amendments to the law «On state Secrets» and provides for a complete ban on the shooting and distribution in social networks and the media of any materials about the actions of air defense — videos, photos, notes, comments. The deputies also propose to amend the «Criminal Code of the Russian Federation» and provide for liability for disclosure of information about the work of the air defense.

Violators will receive a fine of 500 thousand rubles or a prison term of up to two years.

In other words, the rescue of drowning people is declared to be the work of drowning people themselves. And if the «dome» is only going to be made in Moscow, then in other places, be it Kursk, Belgorod or Sochi, there is no question of complete security for citizens.

The signal will even sound, but where to hide?

Even if the authorities finally develop a system, how will they inform citizens about the deadly danger, what should happen next? Logically, people will have to hide somewhere. Bomb shelters in the country are not in the best condition. In Moscow and other cities with millions of people, you can theoretically escape from death from the sky in the subway, and then «an apartment two steps from the station» from real estate sale ads acquires a sinister, but existential meaning. But even there it will be impossible for everyone to reach the metro, not to mention the residents of New Moscow, where there are no underground stations in sight. As a deputy of the Moscow City Duma, Elena Shuvalova visited shelters and knows what she is talking about.

But even to find out how many shelters there are in her district, Elena Shuvalova had to break through several echelons of bureaucratic defense. At first, the deputy was told that the objects were strategic, so it was a military secret. Finally, the Department of Civil Defense Affairs shared its plans:

«We inform you that in accordance with the plans for the shelter of the population developed by (prefectures, territorial executive authorities of administrative districts and district councils of Moscow), as well as administrations of urban districts and settlements in the city of Moscow, 2,702 civil defense protective structures and 7,975 adaptable (adapted) buried premises have been planned for the shelter of the population in the city of Moscow and other structures of the underground space, including 168 metro facilities. 93 civil defense protective structures and 217 adaptable (adapted) buried premises and other underground space structures, including 27 metro facilities, have been planned on the territory of your constituency to shelter the population.»

Elena Shuvalova answered the questions «NI» very carefully — this is a topic that it is easy to fall under an article about military secrecy. Nevertheless, there are considerations and concerns about what should be done in a situation of a threat of shelling, and what should not be done:

— I think what is being done is wrong, I said three years ago — such a population density, such a density of development is unacceptable. Clusters that collect both science and production. Supposedly out of good intentions. But, in my opinion, in order to free up the area in the center for construction with expensive square meters, this is my personal opinion, I consider unacceptable. They want the Khrunichev plant on the territory, there is no need to explain to anyone what kind of plant it is, They are building a space center there. There will be gathered research institutes all in one place. Were they fools when they were scattered all over Moscow? And now they will gather them all in one place. In the current situation, is that right? It's probably no coincidence that they were scattered all over Moscow. The events of recent days have shown that no one is going to change anything. Previously, a house was built and bomb shelters were calculated. And now how? The answer is obvious to us.

There are 300 bomb shelters in Sochi, and only a couple of them are in working condition, writes the Sochi Gazeta. In 2022, journalists posted a report about the underground «cities» of Sochi, which look like lost places.

Nikita Sheronov, a correspondent of Maks-TV, described the condition of one of them in this way:

«I met with Sochi blogger Oleg Smerechinsky, whose hobby is studying man—made underground structures. He agreed to show one of them — an abandoned „unnecessary“ bomb shelter of a former factory of reinforced concrete products, — he says. — A supply of provisions, diesel, autonomous sewerage, a special system of air filters… Today, only rotten bunks and rusty doors remain of all this. But before, up to a hundred people could hide here at the same time, that is, one working shift.»

And this is the entrance to the shelter on Dagomysskaya Street, for which the city hospital No. 4 is responsible. It got to the point that the prosecutor's office and the court of the Central District of Sochi had to intervene in the situation, which eventually obliged the property relations department of the resort administration to repair this shelter.

One was repaired, but all 300 are unlikely. Now bomb shelters are becoming strategic objects, and not as before, a place of pilgrimage for diggers, freaks and thrill seekers. The city authorities will either have to deal with and «bury» money in the ground — we are talking about the safety of citizens.

At the meeting of the Ramstein group, representatives of the West suggested that the conflict in Ukraine is taking on a protracted character, the fighting will last 6-7 years. And drones are becoming not a distant reality, but a factor of life in many Russian cities. Therefore, the «security dome» is needed not only in Moscow.

According to Denis Fedutinov, civil defense agencies should create a system that would meet the tactics of modern warfare:

— I would forward the question to the civil defense authorities (the civil defense system is included in the Ministry of Emergency Situations), which in such situations should work in close conjunction with the Ministry of Defense and other government agencies. I think they will be able to explain what the criteria for using the notification system are. I will assume that this may depend on the classification of the detected goals, on whether a single goal, or multiple goals, etc., but I repeat, it is more correct to address this question to the authorized bodies.​