Russian workers captured the slow-moving drone on video. "Wow, a drone. Is it Ukrainian? - Of course not!" Both laughing. Then the refinery blows up in a massive fireball.
Interestingly, it was Russian media that shared the video, presumably to ensure that their claim that Ukraine is attacking them within Russia has some backup. Ukraine has not commented on this or any other attacks that might have occurred within Russia. It's rather odd that Russia would do this though, as the drone itself should not have made it through Russia's air defences. (Russia said it shot one down but this second one made it through.) The writer for Forbes speculates that it was a PD-1 / PD-2 drone made by UKRSPECSYSTEMS of Kyiv. They cost around $300,000 each, and have a range of a few hundred km, with a cruising speed of only 55 mph. Hardly a cruise missile, but only a fraction of the cost and apparently quite deadly, even with a relatively small payload of explosives.
Russian media showed a video Wednesday morning of a kamikaze drone attack on a Russian oil refinery that leaves the site in flames. The strike looks like the sort of Drone Doolittle Raid that I previously anticipated and may be the signal of much more to come.
The attack reportedly took place at Novoshakhtinsk, Rostov Oblast, some 150 km (90 miles) from the front line. Russian media are saying that two drones were involved, one of which was shot down. The video shows a drone with a twin tail boom diving toward the facility followed by an explosion; a second video shows firefighters tackling a serious blaze at the site.
The video appears to have been shot by oil workers who note the drone – the high-pitched engine noise is clearly audible on the soundtrack — and ask each other if it might be Ukrainian before it crashes into a building and explodes.