Russia paints decoy aircraft to trick Ukrainian drones — photos

An airplane painted on the airfield of the Russian occupiers
An airplane painted on the airfield of the Russian occupiers

Recent satellite images show that the Russian military is increasingly resorting to using decoy warplanes—sometimes simply painted on the ground—to try and trick Ukrainian strike drones, American Enterprise Institute Foreign Policy Studies spokesman Brady Africk said in a series of Twitter posts on Jan. 30.

“As Ukrainian long-range strike capabilities have grown, so has the number of decoys at Russian air bases involved in the invasion of Ukraine,” Afrik writes.

He showcased satellite images of these decoys: aircraft silhouettes painted on the ground at airbases previously considered out Ukraine’s reach. Among them are the Engels-2 airbase in the Saratov region, Mozdok in North Ossetia, and bases in Crimea, Primorsko-Akhtarsk, and Yeysk in Krasnodar Krai.

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Afrik further noted that these decoys were made to confuse Ukrainian drones, which rely on basic cameras for image recognition to identify aircraft shapes.

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