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Ukraine attacks Russia's energy industry with AI drones

Apr 2, 2024

Ukrainian attacks on oil refineries in Russia became possible thanks to the use of drones with greater range and equipping some of them with artificial intelligence (AI), reports CNN.


As noted, Ukraine continues to affect Russia's oil and gas industry, which, despite import bans and price restrictions, remains the largest source of income for Russia's military machine. In general, attacks have become possible not only due to the use of drones with greater flight range, but also because of the integration of artificial intelligence into some drones. AI, for its part, helps drones navigate and avoid jamming.

"Accuracy in interference conditions is ensured by the use of artificial intelligence. Each aircraft has an on-board computer with satellite and terrain data. The flights are determined in advance with our allies, and the planes adhere to a flight plan that allows us to hit targets with an accuracy of one meter," a source close to the Ukrainian drone program told CNN.

Analyst of the Royal Institute of United Services Noya Sylvia, for her part, spoke about "machine vision," which is a type of AI. According to her, the drone equipped with it can be "taught" to determine the geography and the target to which it is directed. At the same time, the drone becomes completely autonomous and does not need communication with satellites.

Chris Lincoln-Jones, an expert on drone warfare and artificial intelligence, noted that the level of "intelligence" is still very low, since the technology is only in the early stages of developing its potential.

The DIU of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the SBU refused CNN's comment on the use of AI in drones.

As the experts of the television and radio company note, instead of hitting fuel storage facilities, Ukraine focused on distillation plants, where crude oil is processed and turned into fuel or other derived products. Some goals require many Western technologies, which are difficult for Russia to obtain.

Experts believe that the attacks may have a greater impact on the Russian economy than Western sanctions, some of which mostly bypassed Russia's energy sector.

Meanwhile, Ukraine claims that 12% of Russian oil refining facilities are not working now. Reuters, for its part, stated that their number reached 14%.

This year, 15 attacks were committed against Russian oil refineries. Eight refineries with a total installed capacity of 83 million tons per hour received significant damage.

Let us remind you that today, April 2, Ukrainian drones attacked enterprises in the Republic of Tatarstan in the Russian Federation for the first time. The explosions occurred in the special economic zone "Alabuga", where industrial and production enterprises are located and are located more than 1,000 kilometers from the border with Ukraine. The target of the attack was the plant from the "Shaheds" collection. This was a DIU operation.

Author - Serhii Kolomiets, 03/04/2024

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