An investigation by British Sky News network revealed that Russia is using multiple tricks to protect its warships in the Black Sea and its fighter jets near Moscow, with the increase in successful Ukrainian attacks.
The Russian Black Sea Fleet was once considered powerful, but with the increasing threat of Ukrainian attacks, Moscow resorted to a World War I strategy to protect it.
Although Ukraine doesn’t have a military navy, it was able to carry out a series of successful attacks in this context, including a bombing that took place last month and targeted the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the city of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed to its territory in 2014.
Ukraine also succeeded in attacking the cruiser Moskva, which is one of the most prominent Russian naval vessels, in April of last year, which led to its sinking.
Sky News found that Russia painted 5 Black Sea Fleet warships, including the Admiral Makarov frigate, during the past two months.
Experts say that this Russian attempt comes to protect the unprotected fleet from Ukrainian attacks.
The Russian Black Sea Fleet consists of 30 warships, mainly stationed at the fleet headquarters in the Crimean Peninsula.
For example, the bow and stern of the Makarov frigate were painted black between May 26 and July 4 of this year.
Through this step, Russia seeks to visually mislead the Ukrainian forces, including naval drones, and make the Russian naval vessels appear smaller than they are in reality.
The aim of painting both ends of the ship in a different color is to hide some important parts, such as the airstrip.
The investigation was based on comparing recent photos of five Russian warships published on the fleet’s account on Telegram with old photos.
Experts say that the new form of dazzling painting is a deceptive tactic that uses irregular colors and shapes, and it was used in World War I to protect its warships from German boats during that war.
Military and security analyst, Michael Clarke, says that the idea of painting ships is logical, but Russia didn’t believe that its military fleet would be in such a situation, so it resorted to old and traditional methods.
He adds: “I didn’t expect the Navy to be under this amount of pressure, and the truth is that the Ukrainians made it vulnerable, which we didn’t expect at the beginning of the war”.
He said that the Russian tactic, from a material standpoint, is cheap, as it gives Moscow additional time to shoot down incoming drones and rockets, but the effectiveness of this tactic is diminishing.
The Russian camouflage didn’t stop at the Navy, as it extended to the Air Force, even those close to Moscow.
Satellite images used by researchers who rely on open sources showed that Russia had drawn many fighter jets on airport runways in an attempt to deceive Ukrainian drones.