A strategic Voronezh DM early warning radar site in southwestern Russia was attacked

Located in the Krasnodar Territory near Amavir [soit à plus de 600 km de la ligne de front en Ukraine]The Baronovsky site has two ultra-high frequency radars [UHF] The Voronezh DM, capable of tracking 500 targets at a distance of 6,000 km, is part of an early warning network to deter any ballistic missile attack against Russia.

However, on May 23, Russian sources reported This site has just been targeted Remotely operated munitions Ukrainians. Shortly after, photographs showing significant damage to one of the two radars were circulated via social networks. Also, within twenty-four hours, the Alushta satellite communications center [Crimée] reached by several MGM-140 ATACMS tactical ballistic missiles [Army TACtical Missile System] The United States offered to Ukraine.

For now, Ukrainian authorities have not claimed responsibility for either attack, prompting no comments from their Russian counterparts.

Voronezh DM is a trans-horizon radar [OTH – Over-the-horizon radar] Designed to detect targets at very long distances. Therefore, the question arises whether there is an operational interest in targeting Amavir forces, knowing that Ukrainian forces are oriented towards the Mediterranean and the Middle East. In other words, one of the two was able to detect the ballistic missiles launched towards Crimea.

Regardless, the attack could have far-reaching implications, as one of the key components of Russia’s nuclear deterrent was attacked.

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Indeed, in “Conditions Determining the Possibility of Use of Nuclear Weapons”, Comprehensive The doctrine, revised by the Kremlin in 2020, includes “actions against government or military bases of critical importance to the Russian Federation, the disabling of which” would “compromise the response of nuclear forces”.

Also, the Amavir attack was conducted after Russian forces began a drill with a “first phase” of “non-strategic nuclear weapons”. […] In the Southern Military Region.

“The purpose of this exercise is to maintain personnel and equipment of combat units with non-strategic nuclear weapons, with the aim of unconditionally protecting Russia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, in response to provocative statements and threats by some Western officials. Against the Russian Federation,” the Russian Defense Ministry explained.

Moreover, the attack on these Voronezh DM radars could also affect discussions on authorizing Ukrainian forces to attack Russian territories with US-supplied weapons.

This “red line” set by Washington was shaken when the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, suggested a change in doctrine during a visit to Kyiv. “We do not encourage or allow strikes outside of Ukraine, but ultimately it is up to Ukraine to decide how to conduct this war that will lead to the preservation of its independence, its sovereignty and its territorial integrity,” he said. On May 15.

However, the State Department quickly corrected the situation and the next day, confirmed that the US position on the matter had not changed. “We do not encourage or condone strikes on Russian territory,” its spokesman Vedant Patel said during a press conference.

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Only the United Kingdom has removed all its reservations on the matter. In early May, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron defended the right to strike Russian territory with weapons supplied by London. “It is perfectly understandable that Ukraine feels the need to defend itself in the same way that Russia attacks Ukraine,” he argued.

“A response to Ukrainian attacks using British weapons on Russian territory will be to attack any British military installation and equipment in Ukraine and beyond,” Russian diplomacy responded.

Photo: Russian Ministry of Defense

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