Ukraine's special services are believed to be responsible for a series of attacks and sabotage recently conducted in the area of Khartoum, in Sudan, against the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a faction in the civil conflict in Sudan believed to be close to the Russian paramilitary group Wagner. This was revealed by the US television broadcaster “Cnn”, who in an investigation describes recent attacks against Rsf, which saw the use of drones and explosive devices, as well as the work of "a non-Sudanese military force", stating that "the Ukrainian special services (are) probably responsible".
To corroborate this hypothesis there are videos of a series of attacks against RSF vehicles and paramilitaries which, according to the same sources, "present all the elements of drone (explosive) attacks in the style of the Ukrainian forces". At least eight of the attacks analyzed occurred with the use of commercial drone models widely used by the Kiev Armed Forces, just as the methods and tactics of use of the drones were in turn similar to those used by Ukraine against Russian forces , and completely unusual in the context of the armed conflicts taking place on the African continent. As highlighted by "CNN", Kiev's undercover attacks against forces close to Russia in Sudan, if confirmed, would represent "a dramatic and provocative expansion of Kiev's theater of war against Moscow".
Similar accusations, while not as direct, are nevertheless not new. Last week the US magazine "Forbes" had attached a series of videos shared on social media by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) showing a series of attacks carried out with small FPV (First Person View) kamikaze drones, which fly fast and low, requiring the pilot to wear video glasses and to react quickly to avoid obstacles. This type of weapon, which appeared for the first time just over a year ago in Ukraine, has now spread in the conflict and seems destined to spread in other war scenarios, including Sudan, however it is the first time that their use is documented outside of Ukraine. One of the videos in question shows a series of attacks with FPV drones against RSF militiamen, in another we see multiple attacks against military trucks, some of which carry RSF fighters, attempting to cross a bridge. The videos show three attacks – two frontal and one from the rear – reminiscent of similar attacks launched by Ukrainian forces against Russian vehicles moving at high speed. The bridge may have been chosen because it offers a clear field of vision and a long straight stretch of road with no cover for attack. In both cases the videos show the point of view of a drone watching the action from above.
Seemingly, SAF has started to operate improvised Kamikaze drones—very likely based on COTS UAVs. pic.twitter.com/usGK869eUk
- War Noir (@war_noir) September 14, 2023
According to industry experts, the drones in question are built with extra batteries and an attached warhead, and can fly at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, twice as fast as a typical drone, thanks to their powerful motors. This means they are capable of carrying an RPG (rocket launcher) warhead or similar explosive package weighing a couple of pounds. According to sources cited by "Forbes", groups of volunteers in Ukraine and Russia assemble thousands of these drones every month in garages and back rooms, using components purchased from China at a cost of around $400 each. Drones have already played a role in the civil war in Sudan. The SAF has some fighter aircraft, including Chinese planes and Russian-made MiG-29s, but they have suffered significant losses and their effectiveness is not high. However, the Khartoum Armed Forces also operates a fleet of drones, including the Ababil and Mohajer models from Iran, some of which carry weapons. For example, the RSF accuses the SAF of carrying out a drone attack in a crowded market in Khartoum which killed more than 40 people at the beginning of September. Sudan even has its own military drone industry, the Military Industry Corporation (Mic), which launched its indigenous Kamin-25 munition at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (Idex) 2023 in Abu Dhabi, a fixed-wing model with a 30-mile range and a 15-pound warhead.