Russian colonel given 6-year sentence for failure to protect Crimean Bridge from drone strikes

A Russian military court sentenced Sergey Volkov, the head of technical development and resource support for the Russian National Guard’s maritime units, to six years in a penal colony for procuring unsuitable anti-drone radar systems to protect the Crimean Bridge, Mediazona reported on Tuesday.

The prosecution requested the accused be handed a seven-year prison sentence and be stripped of all his military decorations. Volkov, who was arrested in March after being detained at his office in the Russian National Guard’s headquarters in Moscow, did not admit guilt.

Volkov’s mistake cost the Russian army 400 million rubles (€4.1 million), Mediazona reported.

At his initial hearing in March, the prosecution claimed that Volkov had been responsible for the acquisition of two “obviously faulty” Orel-UAV drones to protect the bridge. He paid 200 million rubles (€2 million) for each drone, which some experts have said is more than they are worth.

More importantly, the Orel drones are incapable of intercepting small-class drones, which should have been their main function. The prosecution also said that Volkov’s actions had left the Crimean Bridge exposed “within the enemy’s attack range”, the Kommersant daily reported.

Volkov’s lawyer argued that Volkov did not have an advanced engineering education and should therefore not be held responsible for suitability of the drones.

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