An investigation published by the American network "CNN" revealed that Ukrainian special forces likely carried out a series of drone attacks, as well as a ground operation, against the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan backed by the Russian Wagner Group.
The network said it had obtained videos revealing that attacks against the RSF bore the hallmarks of the Ukrainian military. Two commercially available and widely used drones by Ukrainians have been used in at least eight raids against the RSF, and videos have shown words in Ukrainian on the controllers of the RSF rallies.
CNN quoted experts as saying that the military tactics used in those attacks, most notably the direct and rapid pounce of drones on their targets, are unusual in Sudan and Africa in general.
It also quoted an unnamed Ukrainian military source as saying that the attacks were not the work of the Sudanese army, suggesting that Ukrainian special forces were behind the attacks.
Such attacks, if Ukraine is found responsible, mean that Russian-Ukrainian battles are moving beyond its limited geographical space to other distant arenas and countries.
Ukraine's covert strikes in Sudan are a major and provocative expansion of its war with Russia.
#عاجل. An exclusive CNN investigation into the moments of the bombing. Did #أوكرانيا target Russian #فاغنر in https://t.co/EQNqeRNStE#السودان?
— CNN Arabic (@cnnarabic) September 19, 2023
CNN notes that its investigation identified 7 sites targeted by the aforementioned strikes in Omdurman (the stronghold of the Rapid Support) and also geolocated footage of the night raid on this city by identifying the buildings shown in the photos.
According to the investigation, the drones used by the Ukrainian forces have the ability to fly a maximum distance of 30 kilometers, fly 45 minutes, and shoot at a range of up to 15 kilometers, which means that those who operate these drones are inside Sudan and may be close to the city targeted by the strikes.
In the video showing the drone control unit screen, the word "stop" appears in Ukrainian and English, and the image of the person operating the drone remotely can also be seen in the reflection of the console image, who appears to be a foreigner, but was wearing a mask that prevents him from being identified.
Ukraine has not officially claimed responsibility for the attacks against the RSF (documented in video footage), some of which have been circulating on social media since last Thursday.
CNN quoted a senior Sudanese military source as saying that he had no knowledge of any Ukrainian operation in the country, expressing his belief that the information in this regard is incorrect.
She said many U.S. officials were unaware of the attacks in question, and expressed surprise at the indication that Ukrainian forces may have been responsible for the airstrikes and ground operation in Sudan.
Militants of Russia's Wagner Special Group are deployed in parts of Sudan and play a role in the military conflict between the army and the RSF.
The US Treasury Department said in May that the Wagner Group was providing rapid support with surface-to-air missiles to confront the Sudanese military, accusing it in a statement of destabilizing Sudan and other African countries and seizing their natural resources.
Reports indicate that cooperation between RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (Hemedti) and Wagner was strengthened after his coup attempt against the government in October 2021, when the Russian mercenary group began providing military assistance to his forces.