Mysterious fire and explosion at classified Russian facility hint at signature mission for special operations forces

Ukraine Izyum Izium Bridge

Damaged structures in the Ukrainian city of Izium after the withdrawal of Russian troops on September 16.Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

  • For months, mysterious fires and explosions have ravaged critical facilities across Russia.

  • There is little clear explanation for the incident, but it appears to have affected a limited set of targets.

  • There may also be Russian works against Putin. Others show signs of military special operations.

The war in Ukraine has not gone well for the Russian military. In just a few days this month, Ukrainian forces have been able to liberate more territory than Russian forces have occupied and held in his six-month war.

But the Russian military’s struggle is not confined to Ukraine’s borders.

In recent months, key locations and critical facilities across Russia have been ravaged by mysterious fires and explosions, alluding to the sabotage that is characteristic of special operations forces.

Mysterious flames and explosions

Belgorod Russian refinery attack

An oil refinery in the Russian city of Belgorod on April 1 after an attack the regional governor blamed on Ukraine.Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In May, as Russian forces prepared to launch a new offensive in Ukraine’s Donbass region, military outposts, recruitment centers and defense-industrial complexes across Russia began to suffer mysterious explosions or fires. I got

Altogether, there have been dozens of incidents at facilities across Russia, with few clear explanations.

Targets include oil refineries, ammunition production and storage facilities, aerospace and defense companies, and communications infrastructure. The attack appears to be part of an effort to weaken and reduce the offensive capabilities of Russian forces.

Not all perpetrators cooperate.

For example, in May, Russian authorities found two Russian teenagers throwing Molotov cocktails at a military commission (essentially a recruitment station).committee of dozens attacked This suggests that some Russians are against the war, especially those who are more likely to be drafted.

However, the attacks appear to be focused on a narrow range of targets, and the incidents are largely consistent with those tasked with the military’s special operations forces as part of an unconventional warfare campaign.

Guerrilla operations in Russia

Ukraine Romania U.S. Army Special Forces Green Berets

Ukrainian, Romanian and US Army Special Forces soldiers during exercises in Romania in May 2021.Romanian Army/Colonel Roxana Davidovitz

unconventional warfare US Special Operations Community Excellent, with decades of experience in conducting and mentoring others.

Since US forces are not directly involved in the fighting in Ukraine, the attack likely originated from Ukrainian special forces, Russian dissidents, or a combination of both.

If Russia continues to fail in Ukraine, guerrilla operations like this could gain momentum and could take many forms, the Green Beret, who has been assigned to the National Guard’s special forces unit, told Insider. .

“At first, it may look like a chaos campaign like the one we saw on the train in Belarus. Targeting and attacking supply lines and other soft targets is always on the list,” he said. No Green Berets said. She spoke to the media on condition of anonymity.

The Green Berets added:

Since 2014, when Russia occupied Crimea, invaded Donbass and attacked Ukraine, US Special Operations Command grows Training, support and advice of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

People on a beach in smoke and flames after an explosion at the Russian military air base in Novofedryvka, Crimea, on August 9, 2022.

Smoke and flames rise at Russian military base in Crimea after August 9 explosion.Reuters/Correspondent

The Green Berets of the 10th Special Forces Group operating in Europe have played a pivotal role in accelerating the Ukrainian special operations community.

The effectiveness of that American leadership is now visible to the world in the operations of the Ukrainian military. Some of these operations appear to have taken place on Russian territory, including an attack on a fuel dump that Russia carried out in her April city of Belgorod. blamed Ukrainian helicopter and missile attack on a Russian base in Crimea in August.

“Ultimately, however, guerrilla operations will have to mature and adapt to the security measures that the Russian military and security services are expected to take in response to attacks,” the Green Berets told Insider. rice field.

Many Russians have expressed opposition or dismay to President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, but the most difficult part of such a campaign for Ukraine may be persuading the Russian public. said the Green Berets.

“Many Russians are very patriotic, and Putin has very cleverly flipped the war to appeal to ordinary Russians,” and launched an unconventional war campaign against a hostile population. “It’s very difficult to pull off,” added Green Beret.

Stavros Atlamazoglou is a Defense Journalist specializing in Special Operations, a Greek Army Veteran (575th Marine Battalion and National Service in Army Headquarters), and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University. He is currently working towards his master’s degree in strategy and cybersecurity at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Read the original article at business insider