Unusual Ukrainian Drone Hits Oil Refinery 800 Miles Inside Russian Border

Alex Koyfman

Written By Alex Koyfman

Posted April 3, 2024

Earlier this week, these shocking images were shot as a very unusual Ukrainian drone — a pilotless Cessna loaded with explosives — slammed into Russia’s third biggest oil refinery more than 800 miles from the front lines. 

ukrainian drone

The refinery, which processes 150,000 barrels of crude per day, sits in the heart of the Tatarstan region — approximately 500 miles east of Moscow. 

Its attack marks the deepest incursions yet into the Russian mainland by automated Ukrainian forces, and underscores a truth of modern warfare that has implcations well beyond the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. 

And that truth is that almost all military doctrine developed since the Second World War is becoming irrelevant. 

With the emergence of cheap, effective, highly precise drone technology, most of the rulebooks of traditional combat have gone straight out the window, and there is no better proof of that than the destruction of our own M1 Abrams tanks in the fields of Ukraine over the last 6 weeks. 

The M1 Abrams In Russia Meets the Ukrainian Drone: Death Of A Legendary Desert Monster?

The very same machine which laid waste to Saddam’s armies not once but twice, proved to be vulnerable to $1000 first-person remote-piloted aerial vehicles armed with armor-peircing shaped charge warheads. 

Though only a few M1s have been lost thus far, the attrition rate, given that only 31 were shipped, is shockingly high. 

In fact, more M1s have been lost in Ukraine since the start of the year than were lost in combat in both Gulf Wars, despite thousands of units taking part in those conflicts. 

If a cheap commonly available flying delivery system like a quad-rotor drone can take out a machine worth $5M, what does that say about our entire military philosophy — which is founded upon the rapid deployment of large numbers of very expensive, very complex, typically manned air, land and sea-based systems?

The answer is not one that our Defense Department, which has invested many trillions into the armed forces, is comfortable with, but it’s also not an entirely new dilemma. 

The Russians have been losing major playing pieces to cheap, improvised, cottage-industry produced drones since the start of the war more than 25 months ago. 

russian landing ship

The single most striking example of how this sort of asymmetrical warfare can take a toll on seemingly inexhaustible national armies came in February, when Ukrainian drones sank the 4000 ton Russian landing ship, Tsezar Kunikov, in the middle of the night not far from the Crimean coast. 

Costing just a few hundred thousand dollars each, these sea-going machines are little more than remote-piloted 500 lb aerial bombs propelled by motors canalized from jet skis.

They operate in packs and are capable of traveling hundreds of miles loitering for days until targets of opportunity appear.

To date, they’ve sent hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Russian ships to the bottom of the Black Sea.

ukrainian sea drones

US DoD Is Planning The Biggest Overhaul In US Military History

If I was asked to make the safest bet I could think of right now, I would bet that the US Department of Defense is taking major steps to implement the lessons of this war into its planning for the future. 

Indeed, this could be the single biggest ideological shift in modern warfare since the introduction of the airplane into the modern battlefield during WW1. 

Everything which came before will be obsolete. Everything that comes after will be almost unrecognizeable to the eye of the modern layman. 

With our defense department spending almost $900B per year as it is, the amount of capital that will be injected into this grand philosophical shift will be unprecedented. 

If you thought that a few hundreds VR-goggle-piloted quad-rotors hauling RPG rockets was a game-changer, just imagine stealth cruise missiles delivering them by the thousand to find and attack targets with complete autonomy.

That’s just a tiny taste of what’s coming in the next handful of years.

For investors, it’s going to be a once in a lifetime moment that absolutely needs to be captured. But there’s a problem. 

With defense being as huge as it is, and thousands of defense contractors of all shapes and sizes playing a role in its evolution, deciding how and where to invest is a logistical nightmare in and of itself. 

And the problem is, with events around the world unfolding as fast as they are, and the superpowers scrambling for position in this emerging paradigm, there really is no time to become an expert on the matter. 

Don’t Gamble With The Biggest Opportunity Of Your Life

If you want put the coming developments to work for you in the best way possible, you need expert analysis today, right now,

Do you want to invest in massive brand names like Lockheed Martin (LMT) or Boeing (BA), or do you want to find the smaller, more obscure diamonds in the rough that will rise to prominence on this wave of new thinking and spending?

These are choices that contemplative investors will have to make, and right now, there’s an excellent way to start boosting your understanding of the defense industry.

My colleague, Jason Simpkins, has been writing on changes in the defense industry for years. 

He was warning us about the dangers of hypersonic missiles long before Putin put them to use in Ukraine. 

He wrote about the emergence of drone technology years before videos of them popping turrets off Russian tanks became a Youtube staple. 

There has never been a more relevant time to make informed investment decisions in the defense sector than right now. So I urge you to take a moment and start your crash course right here

Fortune favors the bold,

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Alex Koyfman

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His flagship service, Microcap Insider, provides market-beating insights into some of the fastest moving, highest profit-potential companies available for public trading on the U.S. and Canadian exchanges. With more than 5 years of track record to back it up, Microcap Insider is the choice for the growth-minded investor. Alex contributes his thoughts and insights regularly to Energy and Capital. To learn more about Alex, click here.

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