Ukraine deploys Turkish Bayraktar drones to Donbas

According to the Russian news outlet The Military Observer, Ukraine has deployed combat drones Bayraktar TB2 to the Donbas. Six Turkish-made drones were rerportedly delivered to the Ukrainian military in Kramatorsk. The Military Observer did not provide any additional details.

Similar information was also published on November 18 by the Ukrainian Telegram channel "Chergoviy OSS."

The use of Bayraktar TB2 drones by the Azerbaijani army during the recent armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has proved to be very effective. Russian military experts began to talk about the fact that Ukrainian "military strategists" may try to follow Azerbaijan’s successful tactics and use these UAVs against the self-proclaimed republics of the Donbas or even to "retake Crimea."

Such assumptions have quite serious grounds, given Kyiv's close ties with Ankara and Baku. The October visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Turkey (in the midst of the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh), resulted in a military cooperation agreement between the two countries.

In March 2019, Ukrainian Armed Forces received first UAVs Bayraktar TB2 drones. Later, Ukrainian state-owned defense concern Ukroboronprom announced that Ukraine’s company Ukrspetsexport and the Turkish company Baykar Defense would begin a joint production of another new-generation Turkish drone, Akinci.

According to military experts, since the beginning of large-scale fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh in late September, the greatest danger to the Armenian forces conducting mainly defensive battles were Azerbaijani combat drones. The effective use by Azerbaijani troops of strike and reconnaissance UAVs allowed Baku to achieve almost complete superiority in the air. The air defense of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army could not "protect the sky". The bulk of the losses of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army in manpower and equipment was caused by the attacks of Azerbaijani drones. Nevertheless, Armenia reported that in 44 days of fighting its Armed Forces managed to shoot down more than 260 Azerbaijani drones, including more than 10 Turkish Bayraktars.

Armenia had its own combat drones, but they were rarely used primarily due to the small number of these weapons in the arsenals of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army.

Clashes between Azerbaijani and Armenian Forces continued in Nagorno-Karabakh since September 27. On November 9, it was announced that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an agreement on the cessation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh from 01.00 (00.00 GMT) on November 10. The parties agreed on a ceasefire, exchange of prisoners of war and the bodies of the dead, as well as deployment of Russian peacekeepers "along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin Corridor."

  Donbas, Bayraktar, Akinci

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