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Date: 27 October 2021
Ukraine Uses Bayraktar TB2 For First Time In Donbas
The Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 combat drone has been deployed at Donbas by the Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation for the first time, the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in a statement. The drone targeted the positions of pro-Russian insurgents on October 26. The incident has been met with criticism from Moscow.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces stated that the unmanned aerial vehicle was used to attack a battery of howitzers that fired Ukrainian positions in Hranitne on the southern part of the line of contact. One Ukrainian soldier was killed and the other was wounded. Despite calls for a ceasefire from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, “Russian-terrorist” forces did not stop the fire. The Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces ordered the drone strike to “force the ceasefire.” The drone did not cross the line of contact during the operation. The Ukrainian army fired a 22 kg laser-guided rocket and destroyed a D-30 howitzer. There was no response from the rebels, the Ukrainian army said. The Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation said on October 26 that separatists made thirteen breaches to the ceasefire, also by their use of weapons prohibited under the Minsk agreements. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was commenting on media reports on deploying drones to Donbas, saying Turkey’s decision to sell strike drones to Ukraine risked destabilizing the situation in eastern Ukraine. The Kremlin official reiterated that the conflict in Donbas is a Ukrainian internal problem. Bayraktar TB2 is a medium altitude and long-range (MALE) tactical unmanned aerial vehicle system designed for conducting reconnaissance and intelligence missions. But it is most known for its offensive operations involving the launch of guided anti-tank missiles. Ukraine received six Bayraktar TB2 drones from Turkey in 2018. The Turkish-built vehicle has been sold to countries including Azerbaijan, Qatar, and Libya. Besides, Turkish drones have altered the course of conflicts not only in Syria but also in Libya and the South Caucasus. They also replaced mostly Soviet and Russian-made armored weapons. The army of Libya’s government in Tripoli deployed combat drones to target Russian mercenaries. Last fall, Azerbaijan used Turkish aerial vehicles to wreak havoc in the Armenian army. The latter country is an ally of Moscow.
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